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Re: Lafayette section: SUFFOCATING DILEMMA -- dank smell of smoldering piles of wood chips
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But why the 18 month delay?

Posted on: 2013/3/15 17:08
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Re: Jersey City settles lawsuit with plant it says emits foul odors
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This is really a victory for the homeowners in the area who fought a long and frustrating fight all these years. Congrats to Eddie V and all the rest of them~!

Posted on: 2013/3/14 3:19
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Re: Jersey City settles lawsuit with plant it says emits foul odors
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You're correct, petey8. I've adjusted the language a bit to make it more clear. Thanks!

Posted on: 2013/3/13 23:35
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Re: Jersey City settles lawsuit with plant it says emits foul odors
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Quote:

petey8 wrote:
This is excellent news. I cannot stand the putrid smell of that place and it does stink up the area for miles around. One point of confusion, however, is that the article says Reliable must eliminate mulch sales, but then paragraphs down says reduce, with respect to mulch production, etc. I am hoping this means reduce immediately and eliminate completely within 18 months.


I thought the same thing. I am near the cemetery and sometimes the smell just knocks me off my feet. Lets just hope in 18 months its a thing of the past.

Posted on: 2013/3/13 20:50
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Re: Jersey City settles lawsuit with plant it says emits foul odors
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This is excellent news. I cannot stand the putrid smell of that place and it does stink up the area for miles around. One point of confusion, however, is that the article says Reliable must eliminate mulch sales, but then paragraphs down says reduce, with respect to mulch production, etc. I am hoping this means reduce immediately and eliminate completely within 18 months.

Posted on: 2013/3/13 20:46
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Jersey City settles lawsuit with plant it says emits foul odors
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This is great news for us living near by.
Thanks Healy!!


Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City has settled its lawsuit against a Caven Point Avenue recycling plant that officials and residents say has been responsible for emitting foul odors into the neighborhood for years.

The settlement calls for Reliable Wood Products to shut down all mulch production and sales in 18 months. That production has been responsible for the odors, city officials said.

?We had to act to protect our residents? right to clean air,? Mayor Jerramiah Healy said in a statement. ?We can?t thank the Ward F residents who got involved here enough ? they stood up for their rights, brought their concerns to City Hall, and trusted and worked with us to achieve this important settlement.?

The agreement calls for Reliable, which also recycles paper under the name Reliable Recycling, to ?significantly? reduce the amount of mulch it produces, stores and sells at its Caven Point Avenue facility. That will minimize the odor that wafts from the plant into nearby neighborhoods, city officials said.

City officials and residents who live near Reliable have dubbed the odor that emanates from the facility a public nuisance, with some residents saying it gives them migraines and others saying it has caused them to move.

The city sued in 2010. Corporation Counsel Bill Matiskoudis said Monday that a trial could have gone on for years and may not have ended in the city?s favor.

Reliable attorney James Dronzek objected to the characterization of the company as a ?public nuisance."

?In an effort to be a good corporate citizen, and to put the matter to rest, even though we didn?t think we had absolutely any liability at all, we made an agreement to the city to be practical about the situation,? he said.

The agreement also calls for Reliable to fund monthly inspections of the plan by a city-approved expert who will monitor the company?s compliance with the settlement.

Posted on: 2013/3/13 20:21
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Jersey City Sues Wood Mulching Company for Emitting ‘Horrible Smell’ in Ward F
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http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... ent-page-1/#comment-83283


By Abby Wendle ? Dec 17th, 2010 ? Category: Featured, News

Resized Image

Piles of processed mulch sit at Reliable Wood?s Jersey City facility (Main photo: Abby Wendle | Additional photos: Kirk Klocke)

A few blocks down from a neighborhood of sidewalks and porches in Jersey City?s Ward F sits a long stretch of industrial death: unused buildings with broken windows surrounded by rusty barbed wire fences, litter and weeds.

But more than the sight of this blight, neighborhood residents can?t stand the stench, which they?ve dubbed ?the smell.?

?Horse poop,? C. Butler says.

?Dog poop,? Nicole Lashley counters.

?Smells like garbage with perfume,? Gillian Allen offers. ?Like Downy fabric softener over stink.?

Or as Tonya Baker puts it, simply ?rank.?

Reliable Wood Products, LLC, a wood-chip processing plant that recycles wood waste into mulch, emits the smell. The nine-acre Caven Point Road facility is one of the few industrial sites still in operation in the area, and it also serves as the headquarters for the company, which operates 10 other similar processing facilities around New Jersey.

Reliable receives up to 100 tons of leaves and wood each day at the Jersey City facility, chipping and grinding it all into a uniform size before leaving it outside in huge piles to age. (The mulch is sometimes dyed as well, depending on the product.)

Residents of the neighborhood have been complaining about Reliable?s noxious odor since 2005. They have attended City Council meetings, imploring the city to shut down the company?s operations, an effort that proved fruitless since the City Council does not issue the company?s permits.

But the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) does, since Reliable is a state-regulated recycling facility. So residents began complaining to the DEP, which has discovered more than 100 violations against the site. The agency in 2009 fined Reliable more than $400,000 for air pollution and solid waste violations in Jersey City (including ?odors adversely impacting off-site locations?) between October 2004 and December 2007.

The fines were part of an Administrative Consent Order issued by the DEP that sought to force Reliable to modify its practices in Jersey City. The order called for a 30 percent reduction of unprocessed and processed material stored on site, as well as a 20-foot cap on the height of mulch piles and a 60-day limit on uncured material remaining on site.

Despite these efforts, the smell has persisted.

In yet another effort to put an end to the stink, Jersey City this week filed a civil lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court against Reliable.

Corporation counsel Bill Matsikoudis says he is filing the suit on the grounds that the odor Reliable emits is a ?public nuisance,? a theory of law that an industry or company cannot engage in activities that disrupt surrounding residents.

?The odors emitted significantly and unreasonably interfere with the common right to reasonably pure air, and are injurious to the public health and convenience of the Jersey City citizens residing in nearby neighborhoods,? the suit reads. ?Residents have described the odors as similar to compost or the burning of tires, barbecue, smoked ham, similar to vomit and similar to animal excrement.?

The city believes the suit is the best way to get the company to improve the situation.

?Numerous administrative efforts have failed to constrain Reliable from operating in a way that allows noxious odors to emanate from its facility into the surrounding neighborhood,? Matsikoudis says. ?We believe that a court order is the best way to insure that Reliable will be a good neighbor.?

?It?s pretty simple,? he adds. ?It?s just a horrible smell that nobody should have to live with.?

The testimony cited in the lawsuit comes largely from area residents, as well as one member of the City Council.

?The odor would make a person want to vomit,? Ward B councilman David Donnelly, who visited the site 24 times in his previous role coordinating the Mayor?s Quality of Life Task Force, says in his testimony. ?I was made nauseous when I visited.?

According to Matsikoudis, the lawsuit does not intend to shut down Reliable. Rather, he hopes it will force the company to decrease the size of their mulch piles, currently 25-30 feet high, and alter their process of dyeing wood chips black, brown and red.

But Reliable executive vice president Eugene Ciarkowski doesn?t see any harm with the company?s current mulching practice. He contends that Reliable is doing a service for the community.

?Landfills are filling up in New Jersey,? he says. ?We keep organic material and wood waste out of them.?

Ciarkowski also asserts that the company provides jobs, pays hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate taxes and creates a product that is used to beautify parks and yards.

In response to complaints about the stink, Ciarkowski says most aren?t proven.

?We have an inspector who comes from Hudson County,? he says. ?Most of the time, the complaints aren?t verified.?

But that doesn?t mean the smell doesn?t exist, according to one Hudson County inspector.

Gary Garetano is the assistant director of the Hudson Regional Health Commission (HRHC), the county agency designated by the DEP and contracted by Jersey City to document odor violations, among other things. These odor violations can result in monetary fines that discourage companies from emitting foul smells.

According to HRHC?s most comprehensive list, it has recorded 388 odor violations related to Reliable?s operations since January 2005, a year and a half after the facility officially opened.

That number is low, according to Garetano, because not all bad smells warrant an odor violation.

?Just the presence of an odor is not a violation,? he says. ?Odor is only a violation if it unreasonably interferes with someone?s enjoyment of life and property.?

In addition to this hurdle, he adds that filing an odor complaint is a multi-step process that is ?frustrating to everyone involved.?

Upon getting a whiff of the stench, a resident must call the HRHC. The HRHC then dispatches an investigator to visit Reliable ? a 19-minute drive from their office ? to find out what is causing the odor. After the visit with Reliable, the HRHC investigator visits the person who complained. In order to write an odor violation against the company, the investigator must, according to Garetano, smell ?the same odor that was originally called in. I would have to verify the odor with you at your house. If I smelled it down the block, I couldn?t write a violation about that, unfortunately.?

In other words, if the wind changes, the complainant is out of luck.

Garetano?s solution is for residents to call more often. Although he doesn?t make any promises that calling will help.

?You?ve got to call me everyday,? he says. ?I know it?s frustrating for people. But call and maybe one out of 20 times we might be able to do something about it.?

That answer doesn?t satisfy Edna Austin, who has lived in her house on Randolph Avenue, a few blocks away from Reliable, since 1961.

She used to regularly call HRHC to complain. Sitting at her back window, she would watch as HRHC?s white truck made a lap around Reliable. Then an investigator would show up and tell her they didn?t smell anything.

She says this happened so often, she no longer thinks calling will help.

?To me, they were just making sure they answered your call, but they?re not going to do anything about it,? she says.

Austin is one of 22 residents who have signed certifications stating that Reliable emits ?vile, obnoxious, nauseating, and/or obnoxious odors? into the air that disrupt their ability to enjoy their life and property. Matsikoudis is presenting them to the court, along with other evidence, hoping that this action will finally give residents a breath of fresh air.

Posted on: 2010/12/23 4:35
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Hudson judge hesitates to shut down smelly Jersey City facility
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Published: Sunday, December 19, 2010, 3:58 PM Updated: Sunday, December 19, 2010, 7:35 PM
By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal

Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal
Resized Image


The Reliable Paper Recycling, Inc. on Caven Point Avenue in Jersey City, as seen from the Bayview Avenue bridge,
A Hudson County Superior Court judge told the City of Jersey City Friday that it will have to provide expert testimony if it wants the court to shut a wood mulching company responsible for creating a stink in the community.

Superior Court Assignment Judge Maurice Gallipoli declined to place temporary restraints on Reliable Wood Products on Caven Point Road.

Instead, he gave Reliable 35 days to respond to the city's complaint.

"Quite frankly what you need here is some expert testimony and some testimony about what's going on there and then you can come back to court," Gallipoli told Jersey City Corporation Counsel William Matsikoudis.

Residents have long complained about a foul odor emanating from facility, which has been cited by the state Department of Environmental Protection and has been monitoring the site monthly since April.

James Dronzek, an attorney for Reliable, said the facility has not been cited for odor since May and has continually passed monthly DEP inspections.

He noted that Reliable entered into a consent agreement with the state agency in May to reduce how much unprocessed material and processed mulch it stores on site by 30 percent and has been in compliance with that during visits.

Dronzek also questioned why the city was seeking immediate relief when the DEP hasn't issued a citation since May.

Matsikoudis said he has received recent complaints from residents about a stench coming from the facility and included their certifications with his brief.

He added that DEP has issued hundreds of citations over the years and fined Reliable $275,000.

Matsikoudis noted that the site doesn't smell all the time, but when it does, residents have described it as nauseating. He said some residents cannot open their windows or play outside with their children at times.

Gallipoli suggested the city and company try to mediate the issue.

"Maybe the two of you should talk about trying to resolve your differences," he said.


http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ge_hesistates_to_shu.html

Posted on: 2010/12/23 4:32
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Re: Reliable Recycling - Air Polluters
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Is Viola Richardson council person for this ward? Unfortunately, if the problem is not on MLK Drive she won't be of any help.

Posted on: 2009/10/20 12:20
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Reliable Recycling - Air Polluters
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The wood refurnishing industry as a whole uses solvents (such as toluene, methanol, xylene, methyl ethyl ketone, and acetone) they are identified as some of the largest number of TRI releases. Also Wood recycling can generate high levels of dust that often contains arsenic and chromium.

Last night and throught the night, still going on this morning.

They are lawless and we need representation.
Why does this continue?

Environmental Action Line:
(877) 927-6337

Hudson County Air Enforcement: (973) 656-4099.

Call your City Council Rep.

Polluter:
Reliable Paper Recycling
1 Caven Point Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305

Reliable's attorney and "executive vice president" is Eugene Ciarkowski.

Posted on: 2009/10/20 10:42
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Re: Lafayette section: SUFFOCATING DILEMMA -- dank smell of smoldering piles of wood chips
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Open-air wood mulching continues where zoning law requires recycling activities to be conducted in an enclosed structure, causing smell and dust. Why can?t city officials enforce its laws and protect the environmental safety of its residents? link - Open Air Recycling
Landuse and Zoning: Open Air Wood Mulching from One Jersey City on Vimeo.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 4:45
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Re: They've started polluting our neighborhood again
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It would be interesting if a study were done to see if there's been a rise in asthma cases due to this mulch plant.
There have been juvenile fatalaties in the area. I know of several people who's children have asthma, I know it's hereditary, but this plant might be triggering more attacks than usual.

Posted on: 2008/4/17 5:16
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They've started polluting our neighborhood again
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Please help

Environmental Action Line:
(877) 927-6337

Please call now! We can all help change this. Takes 5 minutes.

Insist this is a chemical smell in the air, not an odor complaint.

Also call Air Enforcement: (973) 656-4099.


Reliable Paper Recycling
1 Caven Point Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305

Tel: (201) 333- 5244 x132

Posted on: 2008/4/16 22:26
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Re: The Smell is Back. Please call DEP...
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there are things to (try) to do. and there have been efforts to engage public officials and agencies (not yet successful).

everything is more effective if there are more people involved. perhaps some of the people who have posted are already doings things.

I believe the Lafayette Neighborhood Action Committee has attempted to get attention to this problem.

If anyone wants to get in touch/connected, contact me via PM or email and I will try to put in touch with LNAC and/or others that have raised and try to get attention on this problem.

yeah, it sometimes feels like we are living in the wild west...

Let me know.

Quote:

ironarts wrote:
I've called several times already, yet nothing happens. What's the point? Do we have to organize a protest to get
our politicians to pay attention to our problems?
Things are really changing in our area , I'm happy to see people fixing up their places . This problem has been going on for years, and nothing happens. I can't afford to move again, and spent 2 years renovating my house which I'm happy with, but this is just crazy. My wife is complaining , everyone on my block is complaining about it, calling it in and I don't see anything would change. What one can do here? I'm just tired of this bs.

Posted on: 2007/11/15 3:43
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Re: The Smell is Back. Please call DEP...
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Please don't stop calling. More people are calling now than ever before. We must continue to collectivley put pressure.

most effective is to call Hudson County and then when the field person comes to your place, ask to fill-out a formal complaint.

next is to call the state and file a complaint over the phone and get a case number.

If we do this every time, change will take place.

Posted on: 2007/11/15 0:36
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Re: The Smell is Back. Please call DEP...
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I've called several times already, yet nothing happens. What's the point? Do we have to organize a protest to get
our politicians to pay attention to our problems?
Things are really changing in our area , I'm happy to see people fixing up their places . This problem has been going on for years, and nothing happens. I can't afford to move again, and spent 2 years renovating my house which I'm happy with, but this is just crazy. My wife is complaining , everyone on my block is complaining about it, calling it in and I don't see anything would change. What one can do here? I'm just tired of this bs.

Posted on: 2007/11/14 20:37
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Re: The Smell is Back. Please call DEP...
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Started mildly last night, heading towards full-steam today... Please call anytime you smell it:

Hudson County regional health commission
201 223-1133

AND

NJ DEP 877# from above.

Thanks.

Posted on: 2007/11/14 19:19
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The Smell is Back. Please call DEP...
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Please call the following # at the DEP:

Environmental Action Line:
(877) 927-6337
Press "2"

Air pollution origin:
Reliable Paper Recycling
1 Caven Point Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305
Tel: (201) 333- 5244 x132

Let's stop them from abusing our neighborhoods.

Posted on: 2007/11/5 23:13
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Re: Lafayette section: SUFFOCATING DILEMMA -- dank smell of smoldering piles of wood chips
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Quote:

DanL wrote:
has anyone gotten a reasonable explanation as to why the city has not shut it down due to zoning violations. The land use law does not permit the open air operation.


My guess the City is afraid they will be sued.

Posted on: 2007/11/2 20:54
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Re: Chemical Pollution rains on Residents of Jersey City
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Posted on: 2007/11/2 18:17
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Re: Lafayette section: SUFFOCATING DILEMMA -- dank smell of smoldering piles of wood chips
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has anyone gotten a reasonable explanation as to why the city has not shut it down due to zoning violations. The land use law does not permit the open air operation.

Posted on: 2007/11/2 18:08
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Re: Lafayette section: SUFFOCATING DILEMMA -- dank smell of smoldering piles of wood chips
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I was smelling the same thing. good lord

Posted on: 2007/11/1 21:14
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Re: Lafayette section: SUFFOCATING DILEMMA -- dank smell of smoldering piles of wood chips
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I hope something is done about this horrible company now, when the winds are blowing the stench beyond the B-L area. God knows, once the stink settles back into the confines of that neighborhood, no one with any power will care what those people have to breathe in.

Posted on: 2007/11/1 20:22
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Re: The Smell
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Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Ewww

Quote:

"I came back from a run and walked across the street, and a little girl said, 'You smell like ham.'"
'

hmmmm. i wonder who that little girl could be..hahahaa.. yay amy!


btw, you could smell it all the way to Grove St Station around 6 PM.

Posted on: 2007/11/1 18:02
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Re: The Smell
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The smell, Vene said, is a "temporary situation" that will change "once the material gets accustomed to this temperature."


"That's patent nonsense," said one pile of wood scrap. "I was a 70 year old maple from The Heights. I grew up in this town. How long does he think it takes to get accustomed to the temperature?"

Posted on: 2007/11/1 17:50
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Re: The Smell
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Ewww

Quote:

"I came back from a run and walked across the street, and a little girl said, 'You smell like ham.'"

Posted on: 2007/11/1 14:42
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Re: The Smell
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GrovePath wrote:
'RELIABLE' STENCH
Residents cry foul over plant's stinking operation
Thursday, November 01, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The steadily rising stink at Reliable Paper Recycling in Jersey City reached a nose-holding high Tuesday when waste wood at the mulch maker caught fire, city officials said.

Firefighters doused a smoldering pile of wood at the Caven Point Avenue facility Tuesday around 8:45 p.m., said Fire Director Armando Roman - who himself cut short Halloween decorating outside his house Tuesday night because of the stench.

"I couldn't stand it out there," Roman said. "That place had the city stinking (Tuesday) night."

Reliable Paper has already been socked with more than $300,000 in fines for violating state air pollution and solid waste standards - all of which state Department of Environmental Protection officials say the company is appealing.

Now DEP honchos have hit the company with another fine for failing to notify the state about the smoldering pile of wood scrap, officials said.

The fundamental problem is that the company is taking in more waste than it can transform into mulch and sell, said John Demjanick, air pollution program coordinator for the Hudson Regional Health Commission.

The stench lessened over the summer because that's when mulch sales are brisk, Demjanick said. But now that it's fall, wood is sitting at the outdoor facility in piles as high as 35 to 40 feet - and combusting, he said. DEP law allows for piles of only 20 feet, but the company - as is its right - has appealed for a variance from the state Department of Community Affairs, state officials said.

"There were no flames," Reliable President Nicholas Vene said about Tuesday's fire. "But the material is so hot, when it's exposed to 40 degree temperatures it creates a white smoke."

The smell, Vene said, is a "temporary situation" that will change "once the material gets accustomed to this temperature."

"The (ultimate) solution is to continue to scale back the operation," Vene said. "That's been a plan that was started back in April, and we are continuing to do so."

In the meantime, local residents are suffering.

"It's hideous. It's everywhere," said Lafayette Street resident Amy Scott about the odor. "I came back from a run (yesterday) and walked across the street, and the little girl said, 'You smell like ham.'"


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Posted on: 2007/11/1 14:37
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Re: The Smell
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'RELIABLE' STENCH
Residents cry foul over plant's stinking operation
Thursday, November 01, 2007
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The steadily rising stink at Reliable Paper Recycling in Jersey City reached a nose-holding high Tuesday when waste wood at the mulch maker caught fire, city officials said.

Firefighters doused a smoldering pile of wood at the Caven Point Avenue facility Tuesday around 8:45 p.m., said Fire Director Armando Roman - who himself cut short Halloween decorating outside his house Tuesday night because of the stench.

"I couldn't stand it out there," Roman said. "That place had the city stinking (Tuesday) night."

Reliable Paper has already been socked with more than $300,000 in fines for violating state air pollution and solid waste standards - all of which state Department of Environmental Protection officials say the company is appealing.

Now DEP honchos have hit the company with another fine for failing to notify the state about the smoldering pile of wood scrap, officials said.

The fundamental problem is that the company is taking in more waste than it can transform into mulch and sell, said John Demjanick, air pollution program coordinator for the Hudson Regional Health Commission.

The stench lessened over the summer because that's when mulch sales are brisk, Demjanick said. But now that it's fall, wood is sitting at the outdoor facility in piles as high as 35 to 40 feet - and combusting, he said. DEP law allows for piles of only 20 feet, but the company - as is its right - has appealed for a variance from the state Department of Community Affairs, state officials said.

"There were no flames," Reliable President Nicholas Vene said about Tuesday's fire. "But the material is so hot, when it's exposed to 40 degree temperatures it creates a white smoke."

The smell, Vene said, is a "temporary situation" that will change "once the material gets accustomed to this temperature."

"The (ultimate) solution is to continue to scale back the operation," Vene said. "That's been a plan that was started back in April, and we are continuing to do so."

In the meantime, local residents are suffering.

"It's hideous. It's everywhere," said Lafayette Street resident Amy Scott about the odor. "I came back from a run (yesterday) and walked across the street, and the little girl said, 'You smell like ham.'"

Posted on: 2007/11/1 13:48
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Re: The Smell
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I will call again, as well. The explanation for the cycle of odor is supposedly due to a backlog of inventory after summer/early fall because people are not buying as much mulch.
Did anyone else get the 'friendly neighbor' postcard from Reliable a few months back? They made all kinds of claims about installing new technology (automatic baggers) and moving a certain percentage of the mulch processing to a more remote location. I haven't noticed any changes, however, except an increase in the stench.
Gee, thanks. Mighty neighborly of you to rot our lungs!!

Posted on: 2007/10/31 18:36
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Re: The Smell
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Just another body rotting in the sewer in that area, that the rain didn't flush away!

Posted on: 2007/10/31 17:52
My humor is for the silent blue collar majority - If my posts offend, slander or you deem inappropriate and seek deletion, contact the webmaster for jurisdiction.
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