Cleaning Up The Bad Smell In West Knox County

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Work is now underway to clean up a stinky, smoky, illegal landfill in West Knox County.

It has sickened neighbors, and cost Knox County taxpayers more than $50,000 already, and with the cleanup just beginning, the cost will continue to rise.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman spent much of the day at the site off Tedford Road.

It's a slow process, but crews are making headway.

This smoke signals a certain challenge for crews with Knox County Engineering and Public Works.

While those who live nearby remain encouraged.

Orlan Yarbro says, "They didn't dig this up before. So, they may get it this time."

Knox County crews began their clean up around 10:30 this morning, and they have absolutely no idea what they're up against.

Bruce Wuethrich is Director of Knox County Engineering and Public Works and says, "Especially the expense part. We don't know what this is ultimately going to cost."

Property owner Ronald Woodby has always lived on this land and tells me that he doesn't have any idea of what he's up against. Not quite the same for neighbors.

Yarbro says, "Ah, it's an inconvenience mainly for us."

He can't stand the smell.

Yarbro says, "When it gets bad, we tape plastic over the doors to keep it from being sucked in through the cracks of the doors."

So, just where do crews begin?

Bobby Greene is supervising this project and says, "We're trying to build a road down so that we can reach out and get the logs out and put them up here to put them out with water."

But the footing for trackhoe operator Tal McMahan became very questionable. So, a change of plans.

Greene says, "We'll go down to where the asphalt and concrete is. We push that up and make us a road through the bottom. That way we can get to it from there."

Carbon monoxide levels remained safe today and for now nothing of a serious nature has been found.

Wuethrich says, "So far, we've not found anything in there other than construction debris mostly logs, concrete, and hopefully that's all that's in here."

Bobby Greene who is supervising this project says that it was a good first day and that crews will be back at the site around 8:30am Thursday morning.

There's still no time table on when all this will be cleaned up.

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