DEC issues violation to Geiter Done in response to resident complaints

BUFFLAO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Call 4 Action is getting more complaints about a foul odor coming from a company that residents say hasn’t been a good neighbor.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has pinpointed the source of where that foul odor is coming from — it’s coming from a company called Geiter Done, which has a mulch processing facility.

Last summer, Call 4 Action began receiving complaints from Lovejoy residents about this foul odor: some say it smells like garbage or cow manure — a smell that gets worse when the weather warms up. Residents say the smell is back.

The state DEC says they immediately investigated complaints and issued a notice of violation on May 10. News 4 spoke to one family that’s been documenting their complaints.

“It’s terrible, can’t have a picnic in the yard, you can’t sit on the front porch, the kids come out here, they play, they get a whiff of that smell, they want to go in the house,” said Bill Lipka, a long-time resident of Lovejoy.

Residents don’t want another summer of these foul odors. In addition to that notice of violation, the state DEC says inspectors conducted at least four additional off-site visits around the facility and documented odors at each one of these visits.

Last year, when News 4 spoke to the president of Geiter Done, Mike Honer, he denied there was any odor. The company has not responded to the new complaints, but, the message is clear from residents: they want this odor gone.

“What I want to know is who was the brainiac that allowed this to happen in the middle of a residential neighborhood, they put a compost site, really?” Lipka said.

In a letter from an attorney for Geiter Done, Brian Dwitt, the company says it disputes it’s in violation. The letter goes on to say that the complaints are coming from, “a few neighbors who are obsessed with harming Geiter Done’s facility.”

The letter also says that on May 10, a Buffalo police officer went to the facility and conducted an inspection and found no odors.

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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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