HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) – All day long, trucks haul garbage into the South Wake Landfill in Holly Springs.
What they bring in can be smelled by Holly Springs neighbors.
“It’s pretty foul at times,” said Carol Barnello. She and her family live behind the landfill. They didn’t realize there would be a problem with the smell coming from it when her daughter bought property.
“There’s been days where it’s been nice outside. You go and sit outside and all you smell is that garbage so it’s just kind of ruins the neighborhood,” she said.
Barnello said some days, the stink can last all day.
Wake County said it has made improvements since 2020 thanks to a new method of covering up the garbage. In December, the County said it received fewer than 100 odor reports.
Barnello said she’s among those still smelling it.
“We need something done with it in order to even stay here,” she said.
The County said it is working on it by making new investments.
“A landfill will have odors. During the day, the working faces are open to accept waste,” said John Roberson, Wake County’s solid waste director.
Roberson said in the next fiscal year, $3.7 million will be spent to address the stink. He expected that will cut odor reports by 30 percent. In the next decade, the county will spend $13 million on resolving the issue.
“When the wind direction is unfavorable, and the various weather factors are fighting against us, that should be the only time we have odor issues,” he explained.
In areas of the landfill that won’t get any new waste for a few years, the county will cover them with a special liner rather than just topping with soil. Roberson said that liner will be more effective in trapping odors.
Roberson said personnel issues and not having the right people or contractors in place made it challenging to make this change sooner. Neighbors hope this new strategy and money will finally be enough.
As Roberson said, the smell will never be 100 percent gone.
If you do smell it, it can reported to the county. The county’s website said those reports are reviewed daily. It’s best to submit your the report of your odor within two hours. Click here to submit an odor report.