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City Searching for Source of "Putrid" Smell

Deputy Director of Administration Carlos Lopez told members of the Public Works Committee that the smell did not originate from the Central Landfill in Johnston and the state Department of Environmental Management was investigating the source.

Residents of Knightsville, the Budlong area and near Plainfield Pike might have had the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "That Smell" on their minds recently.

That's because of a smell that has been described as "a putrid burning smell" settled on portions of the city, prompting residents' phone calls to City Hall and a state Department of Environmental Management inquiry into the cause.

Deputy Director of Administration Carlos Lopez last week told members of the City Council's Public Works subcommittee that numerous residents have called City Hall about the "horrible smell," which apparently did not originate at the Central Landfill in Johnston.

Lopez said the calls were persistent and some people suggested that they might be originating from tilling of land "at the old pig farm." Another possibility is they might be originating from turbines at a National Grid power station that produced a noticable smell years ago, Lopez said.

The DEM was intending on visiting the pig farm, Lopez said.

The smell has since subsided.

nancy October 19, 2011 at 11:44 AM
Sometimes it is the way the wind blows from the water treatment plant in Warwick.....years ago it was horrid as you drove from 37 to 295....
brian dupont October 19, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Actually the smell is still there. I was driving on Rt 295 last night coming in from Rt 44 and as I was proceeding south towards Cranston I could smell this putrid odor. It smelled like something burning or smoldering. I thought it was my car and I put the drivers side window down. In fact the odor was stronger on the outside. It started just before the Rt 6 exit in Johnston and lasted until almost the Phenix Ave exit in Cranston. It is definately not the Warwick treatment plant.
Joe The Plumber October 19, 2011 at 03:57 PM
It's the Johnston landfill.
philly p October 24, 2011 at 01:40 PM
This odor has been going on for quite some time .it occurs at different times of the day and night.almost smells like a sewer.Whatever it is someone from city hall needs to address it residents.you cannot even open your windows when it occurs.I payed to much for my home in cranston to be breathing this air.when is someone going to tell us whats going on and how this problem will be resolved.
philly p October 24, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Took my daughter to school this morning and when we got in the car noticed that the smell is back again.Today is Monday 10-24-11 so I do not understand why the DEM is saying the odor has subsided.
Cranston Resident October 24, 2011 at 02:57 PM
It is the Johnston landfill. You get the odor in Cranston when the wind blows it in that direction.
Ed Langlois October 24, 2011 at 08:36 PM
It is the landfill and something needs to be done. I have lived in Cranston on the Johnston/Cranston line for 3 years and it was never this bad. I never noticed it until about 6 months ago. Sometimes I can smell this horrendous odor inside my house. They are definitely doing something different at the landfill.
Julia Turner October 26, 2011 at 04:26 PM
I wouldn't describe the smell as a burning smell. I describe it as a sulfur (rotten eggs) smell. But today (10-26-11), I took my son into school at Bain Middle School and the outside of the building smelt like vomit and dog poop. Inside the school smelled like that sulfur smell. I can't even open my windows the smell is so bad. I wake up in the morning and it is the first thing I smell. It really isn't fair and something needs to be done. If it isn't the landfill it is the sewage system. But they need to get to the bottom of this. Especially because it is so distracting and especially to school children.
Tracey Croce October 29, 2011 at 04:27 AM
It is Friday 10/28 and the smell is back again. The smell is of rotten eggs or a sulfur smell. I have noticed this smell since I moved into Knightsville 9 years ago. Lately it seems worse. The smell overwhelms my home when the windows are open. I have noticed the smell on Phenix Ave up to the entrance to RT 37. I have noticed the same smell on Central Av in Johnston. The smell seems stronger at night and on the weekends. I had to keep my windows shut most of the time during the Columbus Day Weekend. This is a very real quality of life issue and I just want to take a breath of fresh air in my own backyard but it is not to be.
David Davis October 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM
It's the landfill. Don't let them tell you it isn't. Broadrock the new company handling the methane to electricity facility is doing a terrible job of monitoring wells and capturing or burning off the excess gas.

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