KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo area residents living near a composting site have complained about its sour odor for years, but laboratory tests haven’t confirmed their fears that unseen pollutants might make their way into residential water wells or food.
Some neighbors said Kalsec’s 5-acre compositing site, Coggan Farms, makes their daily lives miserable with its pungent smell, MLive reported (http://bit.ly/2cGMUal).
The natural herb and spice extracts company touts its composting of plant materials as a model of ethical, safe and environmentally sustainable handling of food waste material.
Some residents who fought to keep composting operations out of Cooper Township are angry and want the facility moved.
“We wake up in the morning and check the weather, but am I relieved (if the wind is blowing away from her house)?” said resident Peggy Sparks. “Yes, but I feel bad for my neighbors on the other sides.”
While people like Brian Bonzheim, general manager of the Crestview Golf Club just north of the compost site, said he smells the compost only a few times a month depending on winds but he isn’t bothered by the smells.
Kalsec environmental sustainability specialist Sarah Davis said the company has tried a variety of methods to contain or lessen its drift off site.
The Cooper Township Supervisor Jeff Sorensen said residents who are bothered by the compost site are welcome to file individual lawsuits against the company, or they can also go to the Legislature if they believe the state law and permitted composting activities need to be changed.
The Cooper Township Board has determined that it’s unable to cease Coggan Farms’ operation because the law permits composting in the area.
Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo