'It absolutely smells. I can't even describe it'

'It absolutely smells. I can't even describe it'

LONGVIEW, Wash. – A private landfill on Mount Solo has been closed for years but it's not empty and neighbors say the smell coming from it is unbearable.

Cowlitz County wants it cleaned up, too, but the landfill owners, businessman Robert Radakovich and his son, say they can't do it, because they've declared bankruptcy.

"This mountain is beautiful, and everybody loves it. But that’s not what you want to wake up to all the time," Courtney Davis, who has spent her life on the mountain, says pointing toward the landfill. "It absolutely smells. I can't even describe it."

Health officials say the Radakovichs haven’t done the testing and upkeep to make it safe. Toxic chemicals are seeping into the water and air.

"Him and his son need to get together and they need to figure it out," Davis says. "Because they did it. They made millions of dollars. It's their responsibility."

The state will try to get what money it can from the Radakovichs and then look to the dumpers.

Over the years Weyerhaeuser has dumped thousands of tons of waste into the landfill, but the company also put $9 million into a trust fund to test the site and maintain it. Company officials say Weyerhaeuser has done its part.

"We acknowledge they have put a good amount of money into the closure, but the closure's not done," says Chris Bischoff, an environmental health officer. "So right now we consider everybody to be on the table, anybody who put any trash in there, including Weyerhaeuser."

After that Cowlitz County taxpayers will be on the hook for the landfill's clean up. That doesn't sit well with Davis.

"Because I pay taxes to fix roads, I pay taxes to help out schools, I don't pay taxes to help clean up his mess," she says.

It's a mess that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

KATU News tried to contact the owners of the landfill but the only business phone number it could find for them had been disconnected.