In 2013, Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc. asked the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the company to use additional odor neutralizer at a landfill in Colerain Township to control issues in a small reaction area. But to date, the Cincinnati-based company has not yet taken advantage of the full allowance and says odor complaints are on the decline.
The landfill, which Rumpke says is now one of the largest in the country, opened in 1945 and serves the greater Cincinnati area. Up to 10,000 tons of waste can be accepted daily at the site, which has become increasingly surrounded with restaurants, retail establishments and residential properties.
“The Rumpke family grew up in Colerain Township and the community is home. We make great efforts to research and employ the best technology available to ensure that we are invisible at the property line,” says Amanda Pratt, director of corporate communications for Rumpke. “The last thing we want to do is negatively impact our community.”
Trash has an odor, and that can’t be entirely avoided. But Pratt says Rumpke requested the odor control increase in order to be proactive in case the need for additional interventions was needed.
The permit the EPA issued for additional odor control allowed Rumpke to use 2,741 gallons of odor neutralizer mixed with more than 2.7 million gallons of water monthly. But Pratt says Rumpke has never had to go that far.
“To date, we have never had to increase use of the odor neutralizer to the permitted amount,” Pratt says.
Rumpke already uses odor neutralizers at the landfill, with 200 nozzles dispersed across the landfill. During the past several years, the company also has installed more than 25 acres of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) cover to contain odors on a particular area of the landfill where the reaction is occurring.
The reaction is taking place on a small portion of the landfill encompassing about 60 acres of the 440-acre landfill, and is occurring about 100 feet underground. It is not a fire, nor does the reaction pose any health risks, according to Rumpke. In addition to the EVOH liner, Rumpke has also managed odor in this sector of the landfill with about 60 acres of odor control blanket, trenching and odor-neutralizing mist. The rest of the landfill is maintained with odor-neutralizing mist alone.
Pratt says odor complaints at the site have been in a steady decline following the interventions.