• 39°

Odor collector expected soon

The regional trash authority is inching closer to a permanent solution to the odor problem that has plagued Suffolk residents for months, officials said on Wednesday.

The Southeastern Public Service Authority is in negotiations with Suffolk Energy Partners to install a permanent gas collection system in Cell VI at the regional landfill. SPSA officials installed a temporary system this spring, but the permanent system is expected to pull more gas from the landfill, executive director Rowland Taylor said.

“Vertical wells do a much better job,” he said, “but you need to have a contract.”

Cell VI has been pegged as the most likely culprit of the stench that residents in the Nansemond Parkway and Wilroy Road areas have been dealing with for months. SPSA currently is dumping waste at Cell VI.

Suffolk City Councilman Leroy Bennett, who represents the area and lives close to the landfill, attended Wednesday’s SPSA board meeting to request an update on the odor issue.

“I wanted a report to give to my constituents,” Bennett said.

Earlier this spring, the authority installed a horizontal collection system that pulls gas along the bottom of the landfill cell. About 700 to 800 cubic feet per minute currently are being pulled from the cell, said Steve Laliberty, president of Suffolk Energy Partners and BioGas Energy Solutions.

“It’s probably pulling 70 percent or so of the gas,” Laliberty said. “Things are improving. The area is drying out.”

Odor complaints have gone down substantially, Taylor said, but the authority still is receiving some. Negotiations to install vertical wells as a permanent collection system are continuing, and he hopes they will be resolved soon.

“We’ve got the contractors lined up, the design done,” Laliberty said, adding that only a few more items need to be in place before the contracts can be finalized.