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Originally published February 12, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Page modified February 12, 2013 at 7:49 PM

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Cedar Grove composting faces two new suits over ‘sickening odor’

Two class-action lawsuits have been filed to combat odor problems near Cedar Grove’s Maple Valley and Everett compost plants. Two other lawsuits were filed against the operation about a month ago.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Cedar Grove composting, which recycles Seattle’s food and yard waste into compost, is facing two new class-action lawsuits on behalf of people who live near its Everett and Maple Valley plants.

Cedar Grove’s neighbors in Maple Valley and in Marysville, just across the city line from its Everett plant, have long complained about a sweet, pungent smell that fills the air seasonally. They blame the compost plant.

The two plants collect hundreds of thousands of tons of food and yard waste. They store it in covered heaps until it breaks down and can be bagged or sold.

The lawsuits say: “Defendants’ composting facility emits a sickening odor that has devastated the quality of life of the residents living in the vicinity.”

Cedar Grove says it’s not the source of the smell, and is helping pay for an odor study of the neighborhoods near the Snohomish County plant.

In an email, Cedar Grove spokeswoman Susan Thoman said she hadn’t had a chance to review the lawsuits. In general, she said, “we are continuing efforts to improve odor management, and are committed to being a good neighbor and a valued asset in the communities where we operate.”

The two suits — one in Snohomish County and one in King County — include anyone who lives within four miles of either plant.

The class-action suits follow two other suits filed against Cedar Grove about a month ago on behalf of about 280 people in the Maple Valley area and 80 near Everett.

That suit seeks less than $75,000 in damages for each plaintiff.

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or eheffter@seattletimes.com On Twitter: @EmilyHeffter

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