It will cost the city of Cincinnati an estimated $300,000 to clean up a composting site they shut down earlier this year due to odor complaints.
Compost Cincy rented an old landfill site from the city to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to landfills, but after numerous odor complaints, the city shut them down and locked them out because of odor problems.
The idea of the first centrally located composting facility in Cincinnati started out as a win-win for businesses, the city and the environment. Large commercial companies could send their waste to the old landfill site where Compost Cincy would break it down and sell it. But demand for composting proved to be much bigger than they anticipated.
Compost Cincy designed their operation for about 20,000 tons a year, at their peak they were receiving a rate more like 80,000 tons a year.
All that decomposing waste became a smelly problem for industrial neighbors so the city opted not to renew the lease.
Compost Cincy blames the eviction on the city’s poor zoning policies. While they admits some odor may have made it off site after heavy rainfalls due to the amount of waste they are processing, they don’t believe that was reason enough for eviction.
Their website blames Americans and Municipalities for not wanting to deal with the few minor inconveniences of odors, rodents, truck traffic, groundwater contamination and decreased property value in order to “be green.” http://www.compostcincy.com/
Challenges and subsequent closures of commercial composting continue to exist throughout the US because of high demand, not enough infrastructure, inadequate regulatory structure, and persistent odors. It is good timing that alternative solutions, such as, on-site aerobic technology and anaerobic digestion are garnering interest and favor with towns and states. Those two solutions will soon replace these composting problems.