Community divided over compost facility expansion as some neighbors complain about smell and noise

Posted at 10:32 PM, Apr 26, 2017

A composting and manure facility located in Odessa, Florida, is under fire from some residents after they say it is ruining their property values and quality of life.

The company called Pro says they are “Poo-fessional” in recycled organics.

“I haven't seen trash in his stuff, glass, I haven't seen anything,” David Whitwam said. Whitwam is a regular customer who purchases hundreds of dollars each month in compost and manure for schools and community gardens.

“It’s one of the best composting businesses I've run into,” Whitwam said. 

According to the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, the company started getting complaints in the Spring of 2015. Since then they have logged 92 complaints from 13 households.

Officials said they investigated the concerns from residents who live near the facility at 18510 Tyler Road and found no instances of excessive dust, or a foul odor. Officials said they tested for Hydrogen Sulfide gas and found no traces. The facility was given a warning for non compliance issues but quickly fixed the problem.

“When the hill started getting really, really high I'm going what's going on over there,” Luann Donovan said. “My biggest concern, right now, is loss of property value. Cause as far as I'm concerned I'm living next to an industrial sight. The smell is nauseating.”

At a community meeting environmental officials field public comment from the community. 

More than a hundred people showed up to voice their concerns. Some were in favor of the facility.

“I think he's great and there's going to be a lot of horse farms that don't know what to do with their manure, so I hope that this gets resolved,” Jane Whitehurst said.

Others were not so supportive.

“I can't open my windows because this facility is less than 30 yards from my home,” Carla Card said. “Why would anyone want to live this close to a manure trash pit?”

The facility wants to expand their operation. The county is reviewing their permit and has not made a decision.