Holly Springs plagued by drifting stench

(CBS North Carolina)

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) — People in southwest Wake County are breathing a little easier now that the smell from the landfill there has gone away. Earlier this week, the pungent odor prompted a sting of complaints to the county.

UPDATE: Holly Springs residents to get update on what’s being done to battle drifting stench

Virginia O’Tuel and her husband, Brit, have been working a fireworks stand at the Holly Springs Towne Center off N.C. Highway 55 for almost a week. They’re not from the area, so when something smelly wafted through their tent they couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.


“We had a couple small bags of garbage that we were throwing away and I was thinking, ‘Surely that’s not coming from here!’ But I was really worried about that,” recalled Virginia.

Virginia says the smell got so bad this week that she was afraid they’d lose customers.

“It was repulsive enough to where I was afraid that the people just really wouldn’t want to be around it that much,” she said.

The smell is from the South Wake Landfill just down the road from the Holly Springs Towne Center. Wake County says when the wind is right the smell can drift for miles. Some people have never experienced the smell themselves but know where there’s trash, there’s trouble.

“That is one of the reasons when we were kind of deciding what neighborhood to target, we didn’t want to be that close to the landfill,” said Holly Springs resident Jessica Richard.

The Inserillo family knew the risk when they moved into a new development close to the landfill, but didn’t think it would be that bad. It even affects their daughter’s play time.

“She smells it when she comes out, she goes, ‘Mom what’s that smell?’” said Jazmia Inserillo of her daughter.

Wake County responded to complaints this week by making adjustments that helped with the smell. A vapor-based odor control system should be up and running in August, which will also help by filtering the air around the landfill.

“It’s nice to know they’re doing something,” said Andrew Inserillo.

If the landfill smell reaches your nose, Wake County wants you to report it as quickly as possible through their odor notification system here.

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