Few answers, more concerns come from GenEarth meeting

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) - An ongoing stench in Moncks Corner brought together dozens of residents who say the smell is starting to affect their way of life.

The company blamed for the odor spoke at a monthly neighborhood meeting, answering question after question. But they had no luck clearing the air.

"It makes your eyes burn. It makes you gag. It's a very, very strong, harsh smell," said resident Kristi Brickles.

Brickles is one of dozens of neighbors who live in the neighborhoods around the Oakley Road landfill between Highways 17A and 52.

"I just so happened to have a graduation party planned, and guess what: it never happened because of your product being sprayed next door," said another resident.

The source of the smell, residents say, begins at GenEarth, a waste disposal facility that recycles waste products into electricity, bio-gas, and fertilizer.

One of the facilities' designers, John Halbig, told the crowd they pay contractors to haul off the fertilizer and spread it on private property. He did not know if the land owner was also being paid to have it dumped there.

Halbig did admit to the crowd that there are flaws in the new age system of being a green business.

"We were surprised by the amount of odor we received from out plant based upon what we saw from our plant in Europe when we were researching this technology," he said.

Halbig went on to say the fertilizer is not meant for fields where crops will be grown for human consumption.

That raised concerns not only over its smell but its safety.

"How sure are you that your plant is 100 percent not going to kill anybody?" one woman asked.

Halbig said he did not know because he was not a doctor.

"Do you have a doctor working there? I think you should if you're putting it into the ground that we have to live around," the woman responded.

GenEarth officials said they are working to eliminate the smell.

For residents in the area who are bothered by the smell, officials are asking them to call police or the sheriff's department to file a report which will then be handed off to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.