The Central Landfill in Johnston, managed by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, is among the Toxic Action Center's "Dirty Dozen," 12 organizations named top polluters in New England by the environmental advocacy group.
In a statement issued Tuesday morning at the Rhode Island State House, members of the group noted that the Central Landfill "processes approximately 2500 tons of waste per day," or roughly 85 percent of all trash in the state.
The group also noted the recent odor problems from the Landfill that spread through nearby towns, including Cranston and North Providence, last summer. In December, Mayor Joseph Polisena filed suit against RIRRC and Broadrock Renewables, which manages gas-collection systems that apparently failed, leading to the stench.
"The residents of Johnston and nearby communities are living with pervasive, putrid odors coming off of the landfill on a daily basis, detectable miles from the site," according to the Toxics Action Center.
Following the lawsuit, Resource Recovery and Broadrock have worked to reduce the odors from the trash pile, including installation of more "wells" to capture run-off. The state Department of Environmental Management fined the company $55,000 for the odor problem, and stepped up monitoring of the air in the nearby area.
Editor's Note: RIRRC issued a statement in response to this report following initial publication. Read the RIRRC response here.
JohnstonPatch asks you: Do you think the designation of the Central Landfill as a "top polluter" is fair? How would you solve the problem of the state's largest landfill?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.