Q&A: OMI’s Dr. Laura Haupert Discusses Eco-Friendly Odor Solutions for Landfills

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Courtesy of OMI Industries (OMI)

The waste management arena is continually challenged when it comes to fighting odors, which often become a major nuance for neighbors. Landfills all throughout the U.S. also have to contend with finding the right odor-abatement solutions that are both effective, and safe for employees and surrounding communities.

In the following “Clearing the Air” Q&A, we speak with Dr. Laura Haupert, Director of Research and Development at OMI Industries, about how landfills can tackle any odor challenge with the right eco-friendly solutions.

Q: What are the challenges of landfill odor control?

Haupert: Compared to other industrial applications such as wastewater treatment and asphalt production, landfills are more challenging when it comes to fighting odors.

For example landfills often encompass many acres and are constantly changing – with new areas being continually filled in with waste. As they also become higher in elevation over time, keeping foul odors from being carried off by often-erratic wind patterns becomes all the more difficult.

We have also seen an expansion in residential and commercial real estate development where many landfills are now located in close proximity to homes and businesses. This can cause significant increases in odor complaints from neighbors.

Q: What are the benefits of landfill odor management?

Haupert: The benefits are tremendous. The right odor management solutions can help counter any odor complaints from neighboring residents. Of course, the last thing that any landfill needs is bad publicity as a result of foul odor issues.

The most significant benefit is being able to eliminate odor problems in ways that are safe for everyone.

Q: What is the best way to control odor issues at landfills in the U.S.?

Haupert: The best way to counter landfill odor problems is to seek out solutions that are both effective, and safe for employers and the community.

There are solutions that use natural ingredients to eliminate industrial smells without the need for harsh chemicals or masking fragrances. These solutions can be dispersed through oscillating fan systems, vaporization, atomization nozzles, and even sprayed on waste being transferred by trucks.

Q: Tell us about OMI Industries’ odor control systems for landfills. How do they work?

Haupert: Our solutions are grounded in the dispersion of OMI Industries’ innovative Ecosorb® technology, which eliminates odors without the use of harsh or hazardous chemicals, expensive emission control systems or masking fragrances. We have been a worldwide leader in the field of industrial odor management for over 25 years.

A proprietary blend of plant extracts, Ecosorb® is engineered to seek out and destroy organic and inorganic odors on a molecular level – safely and effectively neutralizing even the most persistent landfill odors.

In transfer stations, Ecosorb® is often dispersed through atomization nozzles that can be located directly beneath the ceiling of these stations over load-out and tipping areas. We also have a number of landfill customers who use Ecosorb® through the use of oscillating fan systems.

In addition, we have an Ecosorb® Spray Gel solution, which topically caps odors from escaping into the atmosphere. The Spray Gel can be dispersed onto trucks hauling solid waste and around landfills to effectively and safely neutralize malodors.

Q: What makes OMI Industries’ solutions different or unique?

Haupert: Ecosorb® is a completely eco-friendly solution, comprised of a proprietary blend of plant extracts, food grade surfactant and water. This allows any landfill to effectively combat an odor problem in ways that are safe for the environment, employees and neighboring communities.

In addition, our development team is constantly researching new odor solutions and exploring new improvements to existing formulas. We are always working on new delivery systems to meet the odor control needs of new and evolving industrial environments.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

Haupert: OMI Industries’ solutions are also highly cost-effective and require very little maintenance, as opposed to traditional misting systems. This is ideal for municipal landfills that often have to deal with budgetary challenges.

For example, we have one landfill customer who opted to use two of our Ecosorb vapor phase units — with a distribution line that encompasses the entire property — as opposed to a misting system. As a result, the landfill was able to fight the foul odors with very little maintenance in a much more cost-effective manner. Additionally, since our system is low maintenance there is no need to have dedicated staff to manage the solution, which enables to facility to better use their resources.

Please be sure to check out OMI Industries’ solutions for the waste management sector here.

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