New Jersey Landfill Sweetens the Air

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    A perfume truck at the dump

    Chanel, Armani, Dior -- look out.

    Giant perfume atomizers on wheels, carted about on flatbed trucks now freshen the air at the Middlesex County landfill, the largest in New Jersey.

    The 300 acre-surface area of rotting garbage can deliver a real punch in the nose to those who live downwind, generally residents to the west.

    "It really stinks," says Mike Mussah, who lives about a quarter mile away.

    A thousand tons of garbage arrive daily at the East Brunswick site -- making it one of the most active landfills in the country.

    So, to combat the stench, the Middlesex County Utility Authority have patterned a portable perfume system after seeing a similar operation in Ocean County. The mist has a light soapy scent with a tinge of citrus -- but it does more than just cover the stench.

    "The spray grabs the odorous particles in the air and drops them down to the ground level," explained Richard Fitamant, the MCUA's Executive Director.

    Middlesex already used fixed mist stations along the fence to neutralize odors, but the trucks now allow them to reach the airspace where garbage is being dumped.

     "It must be helping because we're not smelling it as much," said Irma Searle, who told us she has lived in the area since 1970 and has learned to ignore the foul odors.

    But the new eau de landfill has not necessarily tickled the noses of others in the nearby neighborhoods.

    "It still smells like garbage", quipped one 18-year-old boy peddling down the street on a bike.