TINTON FALLS — A county official on Monday night claimed some responsibility in response to residents complaining about a noxious smell coming from the Monmouth County Reclamation Center landfill.

Monmouth County Deputy Administrator Geoffrey Perselay told a public meeting organized by state Sen. Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, that he did not warn Tinton Falls government representatives in September about the toxic stink that would be released by the uncapping of 11 acres of trash for a project involving a leach field, according to the Asbury Park Press.

County Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone told New Jersey 101.5 that another part of the problem was last year's wet weather, which doesn't allow the landfill to dry.

"The expansion of the gas collection in the control system were never able to dry out. That's where you get the seepage and leachate, another form of liquid that really creates the odor," Arnone said. The liquid comes from decomposing garbage.

The complaints here are similar to what residents in three Middlesex County towns have been experiencing lately from a landfill in East Brunswick.

Arnone said the first steps to reduce the odor are bringing in companies to replace the gas collection system and to cap a good portion of the landfill. A misting system will also be looked at to border the perimeter of the 900-acre property off Asbury Avenue.

The problem was compounded by a hotline listed for the Reclamation Center that was never answered, according to the report, so residents began calling the county health department to complain. The correct number to call is 732-922-2666.

The meeting presentation posted on the county website cautioned there "is no switch to turn off the odor."

Arnone said that "this is the responsibility of the county. This is a quality of life issue for the residents of Monmouth County and its unacceptable."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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