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Cincinnati ready to clean-up smelly compost facility in Winton Hills

Cincinnati is getting ready to spend $300,000 to clean-up a now closed commercial food waste composting facility in Winton Hills.  

There is 40,000 cubic yards of unfinished compost material at the location on Este Avenue.  The stench it is creating has been upsetting nearby residents for several months.  

City Council approved the final piece of funding Wednesday for the clean-up.  

Mayor John Cranley criticized the city department that created the compost site.

“I think we should really ask ourselves, what kind of oversight we’re providing to the Office of Environmental Quality,” Cranley said.  “And while an office that was setup to prevent odor is creating odor.”

The city's Office of Environment and Sustainability (the former Office of Environmental Quality) originally championed the project.  Now money from its budget will be used to fix what some call a mess.  

Council Member Kevin Flynn voted for the funding, but was critical of the process.

“The testimony of the director was this was a good business,” Flynn said.  “Well if it was a good business, why is the city having to pay $300,000 to clean-up the mess.”

The facility was shut down for not complying with state laws and for violating a city contract to not create a public nuisance.  The city manager said legal action is being taken against the facility's operator.

Some council members were quick to praise the city department in question saying it has saved taxpayers money with things like energy efficiency programs.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.