People complain about unbearable stench from Haines City Wastewater Facility

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 23:27:24-05

People, who live near a compost facility in Haines City, say the odor coming from the plant is unbearable.

The operator of the compost facility is BCR Environmental. They started operating it over the summer and that's when neighbors claim the problems started.

"Sometimes it smells like a dead animal," Carrie Hill said.

Hill lives next to the compost facility off Park Road East.

"We can't enjoy our porches. We have a pool. The kids, you know, they can't be outside swimming in the pool," Hill said.

Hill said the smell has gotten worse recently.

Other people who live near the plant agree the stench is too much and they are concerned about their health.

"It's horrible. I mean it's the most ungodly smell you can ever smell," one neighbor said.

One by one people spoke in front of the commissioners Thursday night. They expressed their complaints about the smell.

"Something has got to be done (about) this," another neighbor said.

BCR Environmental promises they are not using toxic materials or chemicals.

"The facility itself is surrounded by goat farms and cow farms and (an) oxidation ditch and (a) number of other odor producing sites so I'm not sure exactly what it is that they are smelling," BCR Environmental President Joshua Scott said.

Scott said they take every complaint seriously.

"We believe that we're going well above and beyond what is required of us. We're certainly in full compliance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection," Scott said.

Even with that, the company invested $250,000 in upgrades to their air handling system.

"Certainly the upgrades are going to continue and no one has thrown up their arms and said goodness we are in compliance; We're not join to have to do anything else," Utilities Director of Haines City Michael Stripling said.

But, for the people who live next to the plant, they want the odor eliminated.

"Move it. Shut it down. Get rid of it," Hill said.

The mayor said he plans to visit the area Friday and we're told there will be a workshop within 2 weeks.

"I will tell you this right now we will not stop fighting until we get a resolution to solve this issue," one neighbor said.