Stinky situation in Polk County not going away soon - WNEM TV 5

Stinky situation in Polk County not going away soon

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Robert Dummett says the smell around his home makes him sick Robert Dummett says the smell around his home makes him sick

A Polk County man says even a walk to the mailbox makes him sick because the smell near his home is so awful.

When Robert Dummett signed up for country living, a terrible odor was not part of the peacefulness he bargained for.

“It's unbreathable,” Dummett said. “It makes one literally physically sick."

"One has to retreat inside one’s home with all the doors and windows closed to keep away from the stench,” he said.

About five years ago sludge, which is the nastiest waste you can think of, started coming in by the truckloads, right next to his backyard.

“Hundreds of thousands of gallons per day,” he said.

Dummett caused a stink about it nearly two years ago with the county when he just couldn't take it anymore.

“It fell on deaf ears,” he said.

It just kept coming. Sludge from municipalities all over Central Florida dumped onto acres of private property comes as a welcome drop-off by the ranch owners who value the free fertilizer.

News Channel 8 took Dummett's complaints to Polk County Commissioner Melony Bell.

She said she sympathizes with Dummett and can't imagine what it must be like to wake up to the stench, but the commission as a whole doesn't anxious to take any action.

However a state law that goes into effect January 2016 will ban the practice of dumping on land.

The way it looks now, Dummett will have to deal with the smell until then.

“Yes, which is very unfortunate,” Bell said.

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