Ontario County landfill stench ripens, persists

Debbie Dressner knows farm smell. A native of Ontario County who has lived around farming all her life, she is tired of hearing from some that her complaints about odor from the Ontario County landfill may be from cabbage or cows.

Dressner and her husband, Steve, live across from Hemdale Farms on Orleans Road in Seneca Castle, three miles from the landfill. For Debbie, there’s no mistaking landfill stench. Sometimes the odor is so strong she smells it through her clothes dryer.

In recent days, Debbie is one of more than 100 people who have posted odor complaints on social media and made formal complaints through a landfill hotline or talking directly with local officials. Some report landfill stench as far away as the city of Canandaigua, 20 miles to the west, as well as the city of Geneva to the east and from numerous other surrounding communities.

Jean Cirone, who teaches at the Canandaigua Primary School and commutes from her home in Geneva, tried changing her route to avoid the pungent landfill odor along Routes 5 and 20. Taking County Road 4 wasn’t much better. Cirone is contacting the state Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation with concerns. The DEC exercises state oversight of the landfill, which is owned by Ontario County and managed by Casella Waste Systems Inc.

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