Why parts of Middlesex County may smell awful through December
EAST BRUNSWICK — People in the area of the Middlesex County Landfill may notice what officials are calling "some unpleasant odors" as work is done to improve the facility.
The odors could last through the end of December, according to a Facebook post from the South River Police Department. Work is currently being done to improve the gas collection system, and the smell could get worse depending on the weather, the police department said.
"The Borough of South River and the MCUA (Middlesex County Utilities Authority) appreciate residents' patience, understanding, and cooperation during this time," the department said in its post. "We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause."
Some residents commented on the post that they had noticed the smell and were glad to get some information about where the smell was coming from. One commenter said she was "looking inside and outside my house thinking something was wrong," and was relieved to know she was "not going crazy." Another said the smell is worse between 5 and 6 a.m.
The landfill is located on Edgeboro Road in East Brunswick. The MCUA website says the landfill "operates with the highest standards of environmental and community consciousness." It first opened in February of 1992 and has been expanded several times, according to the county website.
In addition to collecting garbage, the facility is also home to a "gas-to-energy project," according to the website. As part of the project gas from the closed Edison Landfill; ILR, a former private landfill; and the Middlesex County landfill are all collected. The gas is then transported through various pipelines to the Electric Power Generating Facility in Sayreville, where the gas is turned into electrical energy, which powers the MCUA operation in Sayreville, according to the website.
A video of the project can be found below.
"The project eliminates nearly all of the methane being released into the environment from the landfills and delivers cost savings for the Authority and, ultimately, for Middlesex County residents," the website says.
Residents with concerns about the smell are encouraged to contact the MCUA at 732-588-1051. Odor complaints are posted on a separate page on the MCUA website as well. There is a complaint listed on the page from 9:45 on Monday morning on Monush Street in South River with a complaint of "landfill gas" and several similar complaints this past week.