Valley Residents Win Battle Over Composting Facility - 8 News NOW

Valley Residents Win Battle Over Composting Facility

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LAS VEGAS - Greenwaste and foodwaste from top-name Las Vegas casinos and businesses often goes to the A1 Organics composting plant near Jones and Blue Diamond.

Before the waste becomes high-end products like soils, however, it sits and rots at the plant, creating a powerful stench in nearby neighborhoods.

"We'd go out. I would smell it, and I'd say, 'Oh no.' I'd just run back into the house again," said nearby resident Michele Stern. "I would say, 'That's it. I can't go out.' It was just like keeping us prisoners in our own home."

Michele Stern and her husband, Ken, say sometimes they can hardly breathe when the stench fills the air. "It could be a combination of burning. It could smell like manure. It could smell like chemicals that are treated for plants," Ken Stern said.

Neighbors railed against A1 Organics for operating the plant so close to their homes. A meeting between the two sides earlier this month boiled over. Days later, the company's landlord, Las Vegas Paving, wrote to Clark County officials.

Officials with Las Vegas Paving said, "While we understand that A1 Organics is operating within the letter of the law, their inability to adequately respond to the neighbors' concerns troubled us." A1 Organics will lose its lease December 1.

But, that doesn't quell the residents' concerns. "We would like to know what's in that scent that we had to put up with," said nearby resident Richard Saretsky. "Is it dangerous? Is it not?"

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak was a vocal critic of the plant. He may have another fight on his hands. A1 is seeking a permit for a 40-acre site in Boulder City. The facility would likely be bigger and smellier than the previous plant. "I'm not thrilled with the location they've identified in Eldorado Valley," Commissioner Sisolak said.

A1 Organics President and CEP Charles Wilson could not be reached for comment on this story. He told 8 News NOW earlier this month the new plant would be far away from homes. He also said the company moved to Las Vegas with the intention of eventually building several composting facilities in the valley.

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