Greenco Environmental president Tim Lesko apologized profusely for odors emanating from his company’s composting operation on Roger Brown Drive at a public hearing held Monday night at the Barnesville Civic Center.Lesko was on hand with his wife, Melia, and nine employees. There were about fifty people in attendance at the hearing – eight of them public or appointed officials.Lesko said the odor problems started with extensive rains and were exacerbated by his lack of understanding of what went wrong.”The composting process itself emerged as our biggest challenge. It took us four weeks to figure it out. I was scratching my head. Am I proud of that? No,” he said.Lesko said Thanksgiving weekend was the worst for odors. “I’m sure I probably ruined everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner,” he said.Lesko said he is committed to solving the problems and wants to be a good neighbor and good corporate citizen. He plans to construct a berm around his property and plant it in bamboo to help contain the odors which he blamed on improper mixing of food and wood waste in his composting windrows.”People think I am not committed to this but we work very hard. My skin crawls when we get odor complaints. That reflects badly on me,” he added.Mary E. VanPelt, an environmental scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency, predicted Greenco will be an asset to the community.”This is not a Cadillac of an operation. It is a Mercedes of an operation. I think the problems will be worked out over time,” she said.Citizens in attendance seemed to be mollified by Lesko’s contrition and he acknowledged complaints from the community have his full attention. When asked if he thought he would be back at a similar gathering in a year, Lesko replied, “No. If the odors continue, the community will seek and get a solution,” he said.
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