Smell something funky in Washington County? Source identified as compost facility

Residents in Washington County have been reporting a strange smell in the air. Metro says it's coming from Grimm's Fuel Company, a compost facility. (KATU Photo)

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality received more than two dozen reports of a foul smell in Washington County. It was reported in the Beaverton/Tigard/Tualatin area, but also in surrounding cities and towns.

The smell was described as sweet, chemical-like, and relating to diapers. Some think it smells like fertilizer.

"It's kind of a prevalent smell just in the air," said John Mathia, who lives in Garden Home. "Light, but stinky, kind of like sewer, raw sewage, almost like a diaper pail, sewer sweet."

"My parents are in Lake Oswego right now and they said it's really bad over there," said Mathia's wife, Rachelle.

Oregon DEQ officials told KATU News they weren't sure where the smell was coming from. However, Metro officials say they know the source.

"Metro staff was onsite today near Grimm's Fuel Company and confirmed that the compost facility was engaged with a process of stirring its pile of organic material," said Metro spokesman Kendall Martin.

Martin says such a process usually stirs up odors. Specific weather conditions, mainly a lack of wind, led to the spread and dispersal of odors like residents were reporting.

"Metro staff affirms the smell is not harmful," Martin said.

Concerned residents should contact Metro or visit its website and enter "Grimm's" in the search area.

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