Detroit residents file lawsuit over nearby stench from trash incinerator

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Something stinks around Midtown, and a handful of Detroit residents are now taking legal action, hoping for some swift winds of change.

Renee West is technically a retired teacher, but her lessons continue just outside her front door. Unless, of course, things outside get a little funky.

“You know, you could taste it." said West, "Or you’re driving along, and it chokes you. That you know is not healthy.”

West is talking about the smell from Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator nearby. Ask anyone about the smell around Midtown, and they’ll probably give you some colorful descriptions.

“Burning flesh." said West, "Burning rotten flesh is what it smells like.”

“It’s like you got a garbage can standing right next to you.” said Tanaeja Coach.

“When you smell that, you cannot get to a window fast enough to close it.” said West.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of the incinerator, Detroit Renewable Power. A company spokesperson says its aware of the complaint, but cannot comment on the matter at this time.

“I’m hoping something happens," said West, "But I’m not that optimistic.”

West hopes things do change, at least for the neighborhood kids. But the longtime resident says when it comes to the lawsuit’s power to wipe out the smell, she won’t be holding her breath—at least when she’s inside.

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