LAKELAND, Fla. -- People who live in several mobile home parks in East Lakeland say the smell is so disgusting, they can’t even go outside.
“It’s like somebody opened a septic tank, and you stick your head down into it,” Rick Retzlaff said.
Retzlaff is collecting petition signatures and leading a push to eliminate the smell, which he and other residents say is coming from the nearby BS Ranch and Farm.
The farm takes wood, food and human waste and turns them into soil. They let 10News on to their property to see the operation.
“The problem is now, every time somebody smells something, they're going to say it's us, and that's just not true,” owner Brandy Stanton said.
Five times in the past three months, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has found the ranch violated its permit by letting the smell drift off its property. The county sent the owners a letter, telling them they have to stop whatever's causing the stench until they solve the problem.
“If there's any part of it that is us, we are very committed to fixing it,” Stanton said.
Still, neighbors said the smell has persisted. The company is meeting with DEP officials next week to look at ways to resolve the issue.