Northville Township Supervisor: ‘Enough is Enough’
Jul.23, 2019 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Mark Johnson, the new general manager at Advanced Disposal Services, got less than a warm welcome at a recent Northville Township Board of Trustees meeting.
“Enough is enough,” Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix said, after Johnson explained his “plan of action” at Arbor Hills landfill. “This has gone on long enough. It needs to be fixed and you need to be successful. Going back to 2015, we had one, maybe two, complaints a year. Nothing like we’re having now,” Nix said.
Members of the board have received thousands of complaints about the stench from the landfill since 2015. A recent township meeting drew a large crowd of homeowners who protested and complained about the smell to township officials and threatened legal action if some remedial action was not taken.
Landfill officials have blamed weather and other factors for the increased odor problems at the nearly 20-year-old facility which had generated few complaints until 2015. Since that time, complaints from residents have increased steadily, as has the smell, officials said.
“You talk about weather and other causes. Prior to 2015, we had weather and everything else that is going on today, without the violations,” Nix said.
Johnson told the officials that his 30-year career included successful landfill problem mitigation and that the new team at Arbor Hills had already taken come corrective action with successful results. He said that the annual operating budget at the landfill had been increased from $1.6 million to between $8 and $10 million.
“There has been significant improvement from March until now,” Johnson told the board. “That said, we still have work to do and there may continue to be issues that impact our neighbors. I am personally doing everything I can to minimize those impacts.”
The president of the Stop Arbor Hills Conservatory group said that residents have continued to report problems at the landfill since June 1 and that several have reported physical symptoms which they believe are caused by the odors and gas discharge from the facility.
“Some of the issues reported to us have been headaches, nausea, eye irritation, light-headed ness and trouble breathing,” Lassel said. “Members of an out- side contracting team told the family they were working for that they couldn’t believe how bad (the odor) was.
“It’s time to stop the excuses. Take accountability and fix the problems (that are causing the odors),” he said.
Johnson said during his introduction that there were “zero” health risks related to the odors at the landfill.
I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I am committed to getting this fixed,” he said. “I am going to get it fixed. We’ve made progress already, but progress is one thing and completion is another. We’ve gone from 400 (complaint) calls to 10. But 10 is still too many,” Johnson concluded.
Photo: © Don Howard / Associated Newspapers