200+ Residents File Formal Complaint Against Waste Management

Fresh Air for the Eastside, Inc. and more than 200 individual residents of Fairport, Macedon and the surrounding areas, through their attorneys Knauf Shaw LLP, have filed a formal complaint with the United States District Court Western District of New York against Waste Management of New York LLC.

Map of Odor Complaints Against High Acres Facility since December 2017

Map of Odor Complaints Against High Acres Facility since December 2017

The complaint sites persistent, noxious and offensive odors of garbage and landfill gas impacting High Acres’ surrounding communities. These odors are derived from the negligent, intentional, wrongful and/or illegal non-discretionary acts and/or omissions on the part of WMNY to adequately install, maintain and operate the landfill gas collection system. Research also points to the large volumes of odorous New York City garbage being shipped to the area daily playing a role in the noxious odors.

 The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to enforce the permits for the landfill due to continuing violations of the regulations that govern the landfill, and instructs WMNY to:

  • Pause intake of the NYC garbage until methods are developed to manage materials
  • Stop future disposal of solid waste within cells 10 and 11 (Perinton)
  • End all nuisances caused by the landfill operations, and
  • Investigate and remediate the odors and their impact.

 A landfill is not permitted to operate if it causes a public nuisance. Over a year of nuisance odors and gas emissions is proof of noncompliance. Waste Management appears incapable of managing the massive volume of “cooked” garbage from NYC, which travels here in train cars for more than 350 miles and bakes along the way causing excessive odors when the seals are opened.  NYC needs to find a more sustainable way to manage its odorous waste closer to home.  – Gary McNeil, President of FAFE, Inc.

Shipping NYC waste to western NY landfills is a new form of environmental injustice.  Waste Management, NYC, and a series of regulatory agencies failed to evaluate the odor and other nuisance impacts before allowing waste to be shipped here.  This lawsuit will require the regulated company and the regulators to reevaluate the excessive volume of waste arriving in train cars to a landfill that has been defectively designed to handle all of the odors and gases. – Linda Shaw, Esq. Knauf Shaw LLP