A group of Granada Hills neighbors has filed a lawsuit against Sunshine Canyon Landfill, accusing the operator of allowing noxious trash odors to stink up the community.
Landfill neighbors say an unbearable stench of decomposing trash and gas fumes is coming from the trash site, which takes in more than 9,000 tons of garbage a day.
Residents are forced to keep their windows shut and forgo use of their lawns, according to the complaint, which was filed last week. They say they’re unable to entertain because of embarrassment over the odor, and the smell has caused their home values to plummet.
The lawsuit, which seeks damages, states the community is being exposed “to pollutants, horrific odors, and air contaminants.”
The legal action comes after residents had already filed thousands of complaints with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
In response, the AQMD has issued more than 50 notices of violation against the trash operator, a number cited as higher than normal by agency officials.
Despite the violations, the plaintiffs say the smell hasn’t gone away. The lawsuit is an attempt to force the landfill operator to fix the problem, they say.
“The governmental agencies are failing us,” said Yeshayahu Michaely, who bought his home on Canyon Ridge Lane in 2009 and is one of the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. “All we want is relief.”
Peg Mulloy, a spokeswoman for Phoenix-based Republic Services, which operates the dump, said the company doesn’t comment on litigation.
City prosecutors are also upping their investigation of the landfill, which straddles city and county jurisdictions. Two landfills merged in 2009 to create the megadump.
Since then, the smell has become markedly worse, say neighbors, who’ve brought their complaints to the City Attorney’s Office and City Councilman Mitch Englander, […]