Mystery smell permeates Madison neighborhood

Smell first reported two weeks ago
Mystery smell permeates Madison neighborhood

Something stinks in one Madison neighborhood and residents want answers. People in the Elvehjem neighborhood say it’s started to smell like garbage and they don’t know where it’s coming from.

On a warm Tuesday night, people were out walking, riding their bikes and playing at the park. They were enjoying the weather early because they know later a mystery smell will permeate the air.

“I gag and I want my dogs to hurry up and get in,” Chrystal Legler, an Elvehjem resident, said. “It smells kind of like rotten eggs with the landfill mixed together.”

Residents say they mostly notice the smell early in the morning, at night, and sometimes on the weekends. Brandon Steinberg, who has lived in his home for six years, says he’s never smelled anything like it before.

“Not like this. Not until this year,” Steinberg said.

Legler, who’s lived in her home for eight years, agrees.

“That smell has never occurred ever until this last month and a half,” she said.

The smell was first reported two or three weeks ago. The Madison Fire Department, a city engineering employee, and Madison Gas and Electric checked it out separately and didn’t find anything.

It’s gotten so bad, though, that some residents now keep their windows closed at night. They’re guessing the smell is either coming from the landfill near Yahara Hills Golf Course or from a sewage plant.

“Hopefully they’ll figure it out so that people can just be like, ‘OK, that’s what it is,'” Legler said.

Even if they get an answer, residents are wondering what, if anything, can be done about it. Alder Denise DeMarb contacted the county, which governs the landfill. A county supervisor is looking into the source of the odor.