- Waste Management will pay $4.1 million in a class-action lawsuit over the Stony Hollow Landfill in Dayton, Ohio, reports Dayton Daily News. The settlement was finalized in federal district court on Nov. 26.
- The suit, which was filed in 2016 following numerous odor complaints from neighboring communities, claims Waste Management “failed to sufficiently collect, capture, and destroy landfill gas generated at its landfill to prevent fugitive emissions and to otherwise prevent odors from the landfill from invading the homes and property.”
- An estimated 2,000 individuals will share $1.875 million provided by the settlement, according to court documents. In addition to doling out funds to class-action members, Waste Management will also be required to implement $1.45 million worth of improvements to the landfill by the end of 2022 in order to reduce odor emissions.
The 169-acre landfill, which takes in an average of 1,100 tons of waste per day, has been an ongoing source of grief for adjacent communities; odor emissions have prompted hundreds of complaints from area residents since April 2016. While Waste Management has acknowledged the odors — and, according to the landfill’s website, taken “significant action” to address underlying structural issues — community members and city officials remain frustrated with the lack of progress.
The suit marks the culmination of a series of odor-related headaches centered around Stony Hollow Landfill. The Ohio EPA issued the site a $16,000 fine for emissions last year, while odor issues have prompted Montgomery County to explore alternative options for solid waste disposal. In addition, Dayton barred the landfill from discharging waste into the city’s sanitary sewers after the presence of prohibited chemicals forced cleanup crews to seek medical attention.
Strained relations between landfills and neighboring communities have become increasingly common in recent months: odor emissions from a Waste Connections-owned landfill in Louisiana have prompted multiple pending class-action suits, while another Waste Management landfill in New York was hit with its own class-action suit over odors this past summer.