Local News

Holly Springs working on new solutions to reduce landfill's stench

Posted August 27, 2019 5:54 p.m. EDT

— Holly Springs residents are tired of the stink. They say the stench from a nearby landfill has gotten out of hand.

Mayor Dick Spears says the complaints have grown along with the population. As people move in and the town grows, more are living closer to the landfill.

"What was vacant land when the landfill opened (in 2008) in many cases is not," said John Roberson, Wake County solid waste director.

Some homes in the Forest Springs neighborhood practically back up to the South Wake Landfill on Old Smithfield Road.

Michael Flatley and his wife left Maryland six years ago to enjoy their retirement years in Holly Springs, and they are part of that population boom.

"There are times when it seems like – Whew! – It’s really fragrant," he said.

Roberson said continued development close to the landfill and extreme rain this past spring are leading causes of the awful smell. County and town leaders are looking for a long-term solution.

"The first solution is that we’ll continue working on ideas," he said.

"We've put in a lot of new tech out there. We're using automated well heads to extract landfill gas, we're getting ready to put in a new software and hardware system that will help us monitor odors."

Neighbors like Lee Hoening hope these solutions keeps the nasty smells from the South Wake Landfill from lingering any longer.

"It's kind of a nuisance," he said. "We'd like somebody to take care of that. You want to be able to enjoy where you live."

In addition to systems to monitor odors, Sears said town leaders are interested in the idea of burning the trash. It’s a solution that is not cheap but would be well worth it, he said.