DEC issues second notice of violation to Geiter Done

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued another violation to a controversial green waste company in Buffalo’s Lovejoy neighborhood.

This after yet another round of complaints of a foul stench coming from the company Geiter Done.

Call 4 Action first got complaints about this foul odor last summer. Ever since then, News 4 has been asking local and state agencies what they’re doing to address concerns from residents.

Now, News 4 is learning of a second notice of violation being issued to Geiter Done. The DEC says the foul odor has been coming from the company’s mulch processing facility on Babcock Street.

The first Notice of Violation was issued to Geiter Done a month ago. The second Notice of Violation was issued to the company on May 29, after receiving numerous complaints about this foul odor in the neighborhood and a DEC inspection. People have described the odor smelling like garbage.

Geiter Done could be held liable for civil penalties of $7,500 for each violation and an additional penalty of $1,500 for each day the violation continues. But in a letter to the company, the DEC says larger penalties are in play.

“My hope’s for them to move on somewhere else,” said Mary Partlow, a Lovejoy resident. “(The company’s response has been that there is no smell), that’s a lie you can ask anybody on this street you’ll get the same answer.”

The Notice of Violation orders Geiter Done to make corrective actions to get rid of the smell.

But, Geither Done in a letter to the DEC disputes that there’s even an odor at all, saying the state’s testing has been unscientific and that Buffalo Police did an inspection and didn’t detect an odor. The DEC says it takes air quality complaints seriously and continues to work with city officials to investigate complaints about the foul odor in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood.

Geiter Done’s contract with the city expires in August. Some Buffalo Common council members think that the city contract should be rethought with conditions put it in it, or that the company’s permit should be revoked.

News 4 is has also learned that the Erie County Water Authority, this week, approved a $968,000 contract with Geiter Done to handle excavated material removal and disposal. The ECWA calls Geiter Done the lowest responsible and responsive bidder. News 4 has attempted to get in touch with ECWA officials about the agreement, but we have not heard back.

Here is the full statement from Geiter Done:

Geiter Done of WNY, Inc., is a local, family-owned company that has operated since 2005. We perform valuable environmental services and our work has improved the environmental condition of Western New York. In 2018, the City of Buffalo asked Geiter Done to process yard/green waste. Because of the lack of processors, the City had over 60,000 cubic yards of yard/green waste at its Engineering Garage on 1120 Seneca St. Geiter Done shredded the material and trucked it off site. We did the same thing in 2019, this time processing over 102,000 cubic yards of yard/green waste. In 2020, Geiter Done bid on and won the City’s mulch processing contract. To service the contract, Geiter Done made significant investments into a facility located at 383 Babcock St. The facility was welcomed by the City and allows residents to drop green waste off on-site and take away mulch, all for free. Geiter Done accepts wood, brush, branches, trees, and stumps, with some commingled leaves and grass. Before the 383 Babcock St. facility was open, residents often placed these items in the trash, preventing valuable recycling and adding to landfills. In May 2024, Geiter Done was advised of a few complaints concerning alleged odors from mulch processing. We immediately investigated but could not locate any odors. Geiter Done regularly inspects its facility and has been unable to locate any issues. The facility is kept clean, and material is processed shortly after it is received. Geiter Done is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the City to resolve any issues and welcomes site inspections. With respect to the community meeting scheduled by Council Member Bryan J. Bollman, Mr. Bollman has neither invited nor included Geiter Done.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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