'It's Gross': Rancid Smell Blanketing Texas Neighborhood

By Ginny Reese

October 17, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

One Texas neighborhood is in a smelly situation. KXAN reported that the smells are blowing into the neighborhood from the Darling Ingredients plant in Bastrop, which turns animal byproducts into ingredients to be used for making animal feed and pet food. The plant also processes used cooking oil for diesel production.

One neighbor, Matthew Novelli, says he loves pushing his son in a stroller while going for a run, but he knows that at any minute a rancid smell could roll in. He said, "It's gross. It smells like dead animal." And while it's stinking, Novelli said, "It's not blinding or anything like that, It's not overwhelming."

Though Novelli can deal with it, many have complained about the smell over the years. Complaints about the bad smells go back at least 20 years.

Some say that the odors smell like burning chicken feathers, others say it is, "Just not normal."

A spokesperson for the plant says that the company works with all regulatory agencies to ensure the facility is in full compliance. They added that the plant has invested over $3 million in upgrades to eliminate odors.

According to an investigative report, when odors were present, they were "not at an intensity or frequency that would constitute violation."

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