Organics Management – Compost Facility Odor Study in Clarkstown, New York

organics odor
SCS odor surveys and an odor control plan solved environmental challenge in Clarkstown, New York

The Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority (Authority) received a Consent Order (CO) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) requiring the Authority to submit an Odor Control Plan (Plan) that addresses odors at its yard waste composting facility in Clarkstown. Intermittent odor complaints had been received by the Authority from neighbors. The CO required the Plan to include “an evaluation of historical odor problems and remedial actions; an inventory of odor sources; and a perimeter monitoring plan that identifies threshold odor levels that require remedial response.”

SCS conducted odor surveys during two different seasons. SCS prepared a report to document the methodology, test procedures, field and laboratory results, and data for the community odor survey and facilities odor inventory and measurement.

SCS conducted odor surveys using the Nasal Ranger®, which is a hand-held, field olfactometer that measures ambient odor “Dilution-to-Threshold” (D/T) values, as judged by a trained engineer/ technician. A total of twelve (12) perimeter and offsite locations, and seventeen (17) onsite locations were monitored. Ambient air sampling was performed at two onsite locations, for subsequent laboratory analysis of sulfur compounds and VOCs.

Composting operations and wood grinding were found to be the source of most odors. SCS prepared an Odor Control Plan, which covered the following items:

  • Modification of operating practices
  • Use of deodorizing and masking agents, plus bio-filtration strategies
  • Stormwater management, with drainage and leachate pond improvements
  • Design, site, and technology considerations
  • Odor monitoring plan