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Smelly Recycling Facility in Thermal Forced to Move

Adrianna Weingold

Smelly Recycling Facility in Thermal Forced to Move

CREATED Sep. 19, 2012

LA QUINTA--After months of fighting to stop a foul odor emanating from a nearby composting facility, many living at Trilogy in La Quinta finally got the news they've been waiting for.

The conditional use permit issued by Riverside County will not be renewed. California Bio Mass has to move but they will be allowed to stay in the Coachella Valley. 
"When you're outside with your family and the pool smells and the kids are saying grandma why does it stink? You get to the point where you get a little upset," said Trilogy resident Deb Ehrich.
Deb and her husband Ed have been working tirelessly to try and stop a noxious smell they say is coming from California Bio Mass, a composting facility about a mile away. 
"It's very important for California Bio Mass to remain open however they can't be around residents because of the odor," Trilogy resident Ed Ehrich said.
Now with the help of Supervisor John Benoit the county has decided not to renew Cal Bio Mass's conditional use permit when it expires in December of 2014.
California bio mass has a little over a year to find a new location--they can stay in the Coachella Valley but won't be allowed near a residential area.
"Now of course, 16 years ago they weren't in a residential area so we hope wherever they're at next time they're isolated in perpetuity at least for a very long time from any residential development," Supervisor John Benoit said. 
In the mean time, Supervisor Benoit has ordered the recycling facility to reduce the amount of restaurant grease it takes in by 25 percent starting October 1st, saying it's the grease on top of the composting piles that creates the most pungent smell.
It will take months to move the facility--it needs to stay close enough to serve local businesses and far enough away to satisfy residents.
--Adrianna Weingold