BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A putrid smell in Bridgeton has been linked to underground gases leaking from the town's landfill, and company officials say the odor could continue for months.
The Bridgeton landfill reportedly contains a mix ranging from household waste to industrial chemicals to jet fuel dumped years ago. Republic Services, a waste management company, says it plans to install 40 new wells at the site, and expects drilling to continue for at least the next six weeks.
A landfill worker said the drilling is "going to result in more odors in the short term, but we know it's necessary in order to put in the long-term fix at the site."
“I got out of the car and I did not know what hit me. It just stunk horrible,” said resident Maria Loness, “I didn't know what it was. And then my kids had just gotten dropped off and they thought it was a dead animal somewhere.”
Residents said the foul odor has continued for the last few days.
“As soon as you get off the highway you smell it pretty much,” said Jon Crawford. “It's unbearable to come outside sometimes.”
Workers in Earth City told News 4 the smell causes headaches, watery eyes and can trigger migraines. A Republic Services spokesperson said the company is aware of the smell, and is working toward a long-term solution.
"...we're definitely aware of an odor around Bridgeton landfill, and apologize for any inconvenience," the spokesperson said. "The landfill is generating a large amount of landfill gas, which is a natural occurrence, and we are undergoing a project to upgrade our gas management system to deal with the odor and the long-term situation."
Republic Services officials say there are no health concerns associated with the odor, or the drilling project.