"Smells like roasted animal fat and hair," Painesville residents sick of stinky factory

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 18:22:00-04

People in Painesville told NewsChannel 5 they're uncomfortable in their own homes and sick of the smells they say are plaguing their neighborhoods.

"It's so bad in the morning! First thing in the morning? You wanna throw up," Micheal Toth said.

"It's a combination of roasting animal fat and hair," Len Mack described.

If you follow the smell, or a recent list of complaints, you'll end up at Hardy Animal Nutrition.

According to the company's website, they manufacture animal feed ingredients.

NewsChannel 5 found that in 2013, the stench coming from the plant was so bad, the company claimed to be spending high dollar on changes that would get rid of it.

Micheal Toth said all it takes is a quick whiff to see if those changes are always successful.

"They say they're trying to make it better. I haven't seen no improvement," Toth said.

"There has to be someway to filter that smell. There just has to be," Matt Lewis added.

NewsChannel 5 wanted to know more. Like- are the smells dangerous? Legal?
Lake County's Air Pollution Control Supervisor, Bert Mechenbier, filled us in.

"It isn't harmful and it's not illegal," he said.

Mechenbier said the smell is not caused by EPA-regulated emissions. He described what's causing it like this; "It's grease oils and fats. Kitchen grease, baking at home, similar to that."

But people who live and work around the plant still told NewsChannel 5 that they're fed up- sick of closing their windows, cranking their AC, and worrying about their property values.

"It's definitely impactful and it's something we don't feel we should have to tolerate," Len Mack said.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Magnus International, the company that owns Hardy Animal Nutrition, Tuesday and Wednesday. We did not hear back before publication.