Roxbury residents angry over gas from landfill

June 11, 2013 9:07:37 PM PDT
People living near a landfill in New Jersey say it's making them sick.

Officials admit that gas emitting from the landfill can be 50 times what is considered to be safe.

Even though temporary public shelters are being set up, one family says the damage in Roxbury has already been done.

Wearing a mask is not the fashion statement a 9-year old girl wants to make on her way to school.

"When my daughter has to see a neurologist because she has headaches and has never had an issue before, what do you relate that to?," said Roxbury resident Chris Caccavella.

The Caccavella home on Mountain Drive in Roxbury was once a haven for the family of four.

But now:

"It's terrible, we can't use our grill, we can't use our pool that we just put up last year," said Shannon Caccavella.

There is an odor emanating from the Fenimore landfill. High levels of hydrogen sulfide gas.

"Rotten eggs. It smells like rotten eggs," said Shannon.

The Caccavellas' house is about 300 yards from the landfill. Because they are so close, the town put an air quality monitor in their backyard.

The landfill closed 35 years ago, but was temporarily reopened last year, until it was to be converted to a solar farm.

The town has been inundated with compalints about the odor from the current dumping.

To deal with that: "We have a station set up at our recreational facility that people can go to and get out of the odor area," said Roxbury Mayor Fred Hall.

The New Jersey DEP says the landfill is private property and has been working to bring the contractor into compliance.

Eyewitness News couldn't reach the contractor Tuesday evening, but according to published reports, the contractor has said it is working with the DEP.

In a written statement, the DEP also says: "Levels are not toxic and there is no public health emergency, but will make people uncomfortable.

"In 20 years, what's it going to be like after breathing this in for how many months that we've been doing it. I feel bad for my kids," said Chris Caccavella.