Trenton neighbors say Riverview landfill odor is out of control

Trenton residents file lawsuit against Riverview over odor coming from landfill

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

TRENTON, Mich. -

The Riverview Land Preserve is a for-profit landfill which makes the city money.

The town and its residents benefit from what's dumped at the landfill on Grange Road. However, for the people who live across the street in the city of Trenton, the only thing they get from the landfill is the smell. They say the smell is overwhelming and worse than ever.

"I had a friend that I work with that said, 'You know, you're going to be by the landfill and you're going to hate it in the summer," said Terry Hall, who recently purchased a house in Trenton across from the dump.

Even though she lives so close to the landfill, Hall says she doesn't typically smell it and when she can it's not that bad. Thirty of her neighbors disagree.

Those Trenton neighbors have filed a class action lawsuit against Riverview's landfill and more homeowners could join the list.

They are accusing the landfill operators of upping the smell by upping production of methane gas to be sold for electricity, but not putting some of the profits back in for odor controls.

Trenton resident Karen Riggle has joined the lawsuit.

"It's disgusting. I won't go out there," Riggle said. "The smell often makes me nauseated."

Homeowners argue the smell makes it impossible for them to enjoy their home and if they wanted to leave it would be difficult to sell.

"Anybody who comes looking for a house anywhere before 10 in the morning, they're going to smell it," said Riggle. "Very badly."

Riverview City Manager Dean Workman released a statement on behalf of the city which blames the problem on turbines knocked offline during a power failure at a DTE Energy biomass plant.

DTE said it is working to fix that.

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