On Tuesday the Seneca Falls Town Board held it’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, and while no action was taken on a long-tabled operating permit for the Seneca Meadows Landfill the board did hear again about odor control concerns.
Mark Pitifer, director of community relations for BonaDent Dental Laboratories, which is headquartered south of the landfill in Seneca Falls, read a letter on behalf of the company after a world-renowned doctor had a disappointing experience in Seneca Falls because of the landfill odors.
Dr. Miguel Ortiz, a graduate of Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine visited from Boston, Massachusetts, along with 15 other dentists from the northeast for a lecture. Beyond his professional credentials, Dr. Ortiz also has a significant following on social media.
“He arrived with his entire family on Thursday, November 12th,” Pitifer explained. “While unpacking his vehicle to set-up for the event his family was overwhelmed by the horrible odor from the Seneca Meadows Landfill. So much so, he approached our company President early-Friday morning for some assurance that the attendees would not be subjected to the odor throughout the lecture.”
Pitifer says Bruce Bonafiglia, president of BonaDent Dental Laboratories was “a bit embarassed” by the situation, and asked if Dr. Ortiz would share his thoughts on the town and effect it had on his family, as well as the impression it left him of Seneca Falls.
“Dr. Ortiz had nothing but nice things to say about the people in the hotel, the local restaurants, and the beauty of the Finger Lakes, but he also had this to say and we think it’s important for all members of the board to see,” Pitifer added.
Ortiz recorded a video sharing his experience with local officials.
“It was horrible. So what it made me think was when I go back home, or talk to colleagues about Seneca Falls, it’s probably going to be the first thing that comes to mind,” Ortiz explained. “If you’re driving by don’t stop. That’s probably what I’m going to say if people ask. It stinks.”
Pitifer says Dr. Ortiz didn’t even feel comfortable letting his children play outside. He left the next day after the odor resurfaced on November 14th.
“Seneca Meadows Landfill’s inability to control their odor is a significant issue that not only negatively impacts our business but is harmful to the businesses that rely on tourism as well,” Pitifer added. “I urge you to take Dr. Ortiz’s comments seriously and to hold Seneca Meadows accountable for their odor issues by denying their operating permit and by bringing their continued violations to the attention of the Department of Environmental Conservation.”
The Town Board did send a letter to Seneca Meadows with requests for the operating permit to be approved.