Compost recycling companies get blight tickets by Detroit police

- New information about an illegal dumping investigation on Girardin Street on Detroit's east side.

A security guard contacted the Fox 2 Problem Solvers about what she called illegal dumping causing a terrible smell, two companies doing business on the lot are responding.

"We have a site where we are making compost," said Tim Campbell, Midtown Composting. "It's not like we're taking a bunch of trash and just dumping it."

"We keep the stuff out of the landfill," said Keith from Happy Coast. "We do landfill reduction; we save metric tons of food waste from landfills each week."

Midtown Composting and Happy Coast say they are working together to protect the environment and help keep necessary waste out of landfills.   

"This is not just us taking grains and coffee grounds and dropping it off like it's trash, we're making soil out of it," Campbell said. 

But in the course of working to better the environment, the companies said they have to work on the horrible smell that comes from their composting efforts.

"We're adding more carbon to the pile to get the smell down, immediately," Keith said. 

It was that smell and the FOX 2 report that got the attention of Detroit police.  After police came out to investigate they issued the company blight tickets.

Officials say although the business owners are not involved in illegal dumping because they have permission from the owner to bring the trash on the lot, they are still not conducting their businesses properly.

"Each one of the individuals involved in this incident have been fined $1,000 apiece for allowing solid waste to accumulate on the property," said Lt. Rebecca McKay, Detroit police. "What they are doing here appears to be some sort of compost business. They are collecting compost and compiling it on this property. Unfortunately, the smell is putrid."  

The owner of the property was also issued the same fine by police. 

The companies say they plan to fight the fines but because they do not have a license to operate their companies they could face additional fines by Detroit.

The two companies have until Monday to clean up the area or the city will charge them to clean it up for them.

"They did not pull the proper permits, they did not take the proper channels to do what they are doing here," McKay said.

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