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Detroit incinerator suddenly shuts down after 33 years

Incinerator officially closes Wednesday

DETROIT – The Detroit incinerator suddenly closed for good Wednesday, 33 years after its opening.

Officials with the privately owned facility said the closure was effective Wednesday, and as neighbors celebrate, there are concerns about where the city will send its trash.

Detroit Renewable Energy bought the facility last year and promised to work on making it more efficient so it wouldn't create an odor in the neighborhood. Millions of dollars were spent, but that didn't work.

"It smelled like rotten eggs," resident Carolyn Leadley said.

"Kind of like a sweet smell, like a sweet trash, like rotting smell," resident Marion Keith said.

The city of Detroit once owned it, and private owners thought they could make Detroit Renewable Energy and its aging plant work. But they continued to run into trouble with the neighbors and the state, particularly about the smell.

The plant had an important purpose. The incinerated trash created steam that Detroit Renewable used to fuel the underground steam system used by Downtown Detroit buildings such as the Detroit Medical Center.

The company will now use natural gas for that purpose, which is actually cheaper, officials said.

Many communities used the plant for their trash flow, and the closure will force them to find another place.

You can watch Rod Meloni's full story in the video posted above.


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