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POLL: City / Tribe Sniff Out Solution to Unpleasant Recycing Smell

Some Shakopee residents have been turning up their noses at a facility that opened for business last year.

Some Shakopee residents living near the intersection of County Road 16 and Canterbury Road (83) have been turning up their noses lately at a facility that opened for business last year.

The , which uses natural processes to break down organic material such as yard trimmings, food waste, and agricultural byproducts into compost, is also creating an odor when the wind is from the right direction," Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke wrote on his website recently.

In April, a Shakopee resident commented on Shakopee Patch that "anyone living on this side of town can plan to kiss summer BBQ's and opening your house up for fresh air goodbye. It already stinks to an almost intolerable level."

He was also concerned that the odor would decrease home values.

Here is what Tabke said is happening to handle the issue:

  • has an industrial hygienist working on limiting the odor from the facility.
  • 13 odor-monitoring devices have arrived and will be set up around the facility to monitor the odor and weather conditions. Many of the monitors are set up in Shakopee.
  • The monitors will take readings and if odor is detected, the facility will be able to proactively make adjustments like turning the piles or adding appropriate materials.
  • They have stopped turning the piles on Fridays and cover them up for weekends to keep the odor contained.

Tabke said he's hopeful that these steps will lead to less smell coming from the facility and a return to the quality of life residents in the area expect.

The City of Shakopee uses the facility to dispose of tree materials collected from street sweepings, or that the city otherwise generates – at no charge, according to Shakopee City Administrator Mark McNeill.

Tabke urged patience as the kinks in the new system are worked out.

"I am extremely grateful to the SMSC for working with us and proactively handling this situation," Tabke wrote. "It is very much appreciated."

What do you think? Have you smelled the compost in that area? Is it affecting your quality of life? Tell us in comments.

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Lisa Baumann June 28, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Is that manure smell still happening? I thought that what I was smelling earlier this spring?
Emily B June 29, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I have toured the SMSC Organics Facility and they are doing a great job down there. Since the business is new, it obviously takes time to figure out the right routine to avoid these types of situations. They have planted trees around the perimeter and as these grow, it will help as a wind barrier to prevent wafting of odors. In the long run, the benefit of the facility, and reduced organics going to our landfills, where they produce high amounts of methane (a GHG more potent, and smelly, than CO2), will far outweigh unpleasant smells now.
Dawn August 30, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Emily you don't have to live here. The smell is almost daily and has ruined many outdoor activities, entire summer shot. Try having guests over and it smells so bad they want to leave. We are all experiencing other affects as well. This does not belong in a residential area. My kids mention the smell at the school(Eagle Creek) this past spring. They couldn't go out for recess it was so bad on many days.
Dawn April 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Oh wouldn't it be nice to open our windows to enjoy this weather. Wouldn't it be nice to invite people over for a BBQ and enjoy our beautiful backyard. Well if you live across the street from a garbage dump, better known as the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Organics Recycling (Compost) Facility, you cannot do that (especially on the weekends). We just had people over this past Friday and all we got to hear was them complain about the nauseating odor from the compost site. We are constantly embarrassed by this and can't enjoy our yards as most do here in MN during the summer. We have to run into our houses and close them up tight so the odor doesn't come in. And God forbid we leave a car window open. Not to mention all the wonderful health risks from the bioaerosols, Fungus, bacteria and molds. The dust blows on our homes and vehicles. Plus we get to breathe it.
Dawn April 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Health and safety guidelines to be posted at Compost facilities *** Note that they require PPE (personal protective equipment) be worn and that staff be rotated to avoid over exposure. They require health checks prior to working at facility and annual medical exams to monitor any developing symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms:

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