Stakeholders testify on smelly Johnston Landfill

PROVIDENCE, RI – The head of the landfill in Johnston will testify before a special house commission Tuesday. This is the first time lawmakers will hear from Michael O'Connell, after Johnston residents complained for months about the foul smell coming from the landfill.

It's a packed schedule for the Special House Commission- representatives will hear from the executive director of the landfill as well as the company that collects and processes gas at the dump. The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health will also weigh in on the problem. Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena says the landfill has gotten better, but it stills smells worse than it should.

"It's better, there's no doubt about it, but it's not 100% better," Polisena says. "We still get days where it's pretty bad, but that's got to end."

Polisena says he believes there's a connection between the stench and the mismanagement of the landfill, which according to a 2009 state audit, lost the state about $75 million. There will also be time for public testimony at the meeting, which meets at around 4:30pm in the basement of the statehouse.

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