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Cleanup plan for compost site unveiled

WINTON HILLS, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Cincinnati environmental officials laid out a plan Tuesday night to clean up a property on Este Ave. that's been a smelly nuisance to neighbors for nearly two years.

The city leased the lot to Compost Cincy in late 2011. The company planned to composte food waste to keep it out of landfills. But city officials say Composte Cincy took in too much waste and the wrong types of materials which caused the offensive odors. The city tried to work with the company but finally locked it out of the property in February. Neighbors complained to the city and the county health department about the odor.

"When you go outside and it smells like you stepped in something and you can't get it off your shoe," said Molly Sims, a resident and village council member in Elmwood Place.
 
City of Cincinnati environmental officials and consultants laid out a cleanup plan Tuesday night to Elmwood Place residents. The piles of composting waste will be taken apart and laid in windrows. The waste will be allowed to compost naturally.
 
"It is more of a nuisance to the community than a hazard," said Diana Christy, an environmental compliance officer with the city of Cincinnati. She added, "Once oxygen is into those piles that are now sitting anaerobic the odors will get worse for a short period of time. Our goal is that that will be a four-week processing time and if all goes well it should all be better by then."

Steps will be taken to limit the odor during the cleanup. Hydrogen Peroxide will be poured on the material to eliminate some of the stench.

Molly Sims said she'll put up with the stink a little while longer if it means a future of breathing fresh air.
 
"Now that they're going to take care of it and they say they will and I believe them I think we can wait the three or four or five months," Sims said.
 
City taxpayers will have to pay for the cost of the cleanup. The option the city has chosen will cost $300,000. Removing the debris will cost at least $1 million. The city's law dept. is looking into options to recoup that money from the owner of Compost Cincy. He did not return calls or emails Tuesday night.


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