Dollars and Scents

Landfill neighbors receive compensation, though not enough they say

Think your neighborhood stinks? Some Hillside residents feel the same way about their area and with good reason.

Hundreds of Hillside residents began receiving restitution checks this month for living within blocks of a smelly landfill. In March 2007, the landfill owner, Congress Development, was issued a court order to pay a fee to the town based on how much trash was brought in.

Once the village paid its court experts and attorneys, it began sending checks to homeowners who have proof of paid taxes.

The 55-acre landfill opened in 1981 and closed in January 2008. It had used compacted soils and layers of plastic to help snuff out odors, but locals say that hasn't been enough.

Nor are the $438 compensation checks, they argue.

"I've probably spent more money than that on candles," said Toni Noti (Chicago Tribune), who had lived a block away from the site since before the landfill opened.

While Robert Fjeldham Jr. is grateful for the extra income, he too doesn't believe it makes up for his hardship.

"You couldn't put your air conditioning on or the stink would fill up the house," he said.

When the odor will be completely contained, no one nose.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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