Northampton Press

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Council discusses concerns of odor in borough neighborhoods

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Some families downwind from a privately owned Northampton recycling operation have had their outdoor activities, barbecues and family gatherings affected by a stench wafting through their neighborhoods, especially in stretches when the heat and humidity have lingered for days.

Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst acknowledged Aug. 17 that the borough has received complaints from residents regarding odors allegedly emanating from CAP Glass, a division of Carry All Products, located in the borough’s industrial-zoned area. The company occupies a sizable area on Smith Lane near Horwith Drive.

“We tell [residents] to contact [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection],” Brobst said. “The borough can’t do anything. It is up to the DEP to do so.”

In fact, Brobst said the glass recycling company has been cited by DEP. The results of the citation, the number of such alleged violations and the consequences are not known.

“They have a lot of glass there,” Brobst said.

The belief is the smell comes from the glass and the residue left in the bottles and jars.

It was mentioned, in recent years, the glass piled so high that some borough officials dubbed it as “glass mountain.” Brobst said it seems as the market demand for the glass is not as strong as it once was.

At recent council meetings, the strong smell that originates from CAP Glass has been discussed by Councilman Robert McHale and others.

The area affected lies in the borough’s northeast section. Homeowners on Barrington Drive and Hollow Lane have allegedly been tolerating the brunt of the stench. Northampton Area Middle School is just west of the sprawling recycling operation.

Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski Sr., a retired borough police officer, said when employed by Renewable Fuel, which has since moved, he was aware of the odors. He said there is also a stench coming from refuse dumped at a second location by another company.

Stating the odor is putrid and acknowledging it affects these neighborhoods, Lopsonzski said on one occasion, he went to the site with a DEP inspector.

The odor occurs, he said, when equipment begins to move the materials on the site, thereby breaking any seal and allowing the smell to escape into the atmosphere.