Smelly plant has neighbors collectively plugging nose - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Smelly plant has neighbors collectively plugging nose

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A foul smell coming from a rendering plant in an Eastern Iowa neighborhood has neighbors upset.

Darling International, a plant that makes animal feed from animal carcasses has two locations in Waterloo.

It's the plant on Nevada Street that has people plugging their nose.

Some people say the smell is so horrible they can't drive by the building without gagging.

The plant has been in Waterloo for nearly 40 years, so the smell isn't a new problem, but on hot and humid days, it's bad enough to get people talking.

"Its like an animal graveyard," said Dustin Harrington. He lives nearby. "Like animals that have been laying on the ground forever."

"It's worse than hog manure," said Randy Sanderson, another neighbor. "It's really disgusting."

People who work at the plant say they realize there is an odor, but they have an air scrubber system in place which takes care of some of the smell, but on hot and humid days there isn't much they can do.

"I got two young granddaughters who can't even ride their bikes," said Sanderson.

Employees at the plant say they empathize with neighbors, but they clean the carcass-carrying trucks every day.

And neighbors, although disgruntled, know they have to deal with it.

"If you live here long enough you just got to get used to it," said Harrington.

Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark said he's very aware of the problem, but from the city's perspective, their hands are tied.

He said they could technically move the plant far away out into the country, but that would be difficult and expensive.

The Department of Natural Resources monitors all rendering plants in Eastern Iowa, including Darling Inc, and Clark says the plant meets all their health regulations.

So although the plant may be smelly, it is technically safe.

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