Odor ebbs near landfill but rises els...

Odor ebbs near landfill but rises elsewhere

There are 55 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Apr 20, 2008, titled Odor ebbs near landfill but rises elsewhere. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Residents of Hillside and those driving through eagerly await the completion of a cap designed to stifle the stench from an adjacent landfill that has triggered headaches, nausea and general disgust for years.

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knucklehead

Oswego, IL

#56 Apr 22, 2008
JolietBob wrote:
<quoted text>
You know you're right. A buddy of mine worked for a roofing company that was doing work on the older community mausoleum at Queen of Heaven. Anyhow, the roof has hundreds of air vents that help remove the bad air from the people decomposing with the hallowed walls. The smell was horrid, like the smell of a dead rodent only 100 times worse. They also have giant grease-like traps below the basement to catch excrement that escapes from deteriorating coffins. Wouldnt want to be any where near there.
i was just wondering- who in god's name could one hire to clean out those "giant grease-like traps" in the bowels of a mausoleum? think about that a minute- would a plumber do it? a crime scene/hazmat cleanup company?

in any case- even with the yellow suit and full respirator, you'd have to have the stongest stomach on earth to do that job- and it wouldn't hurt to have to have short term memory loss, so that you could forget you ever had to do that awful, foul job.
John

Chicago, IL

#57 Apr 23, 2008
knucklehead wrote:
<quoted text>
i was just wondering- who in god's name could one hire to clean out those "giant grease-like traps" in the bowels of a mausoleum? think about that a minute- would a plumber do it? a crime scene/hazmat cleanup company?
in any case- even with the yellow suit and full respirator, you'd have to have the stongest stomach on earth to do that job- and it wouldn't hurt to have to have short term memory loss, so that you could forget you ever had to do that awful, foul job.
Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs
JolietBob

Downers Grove, IL

#58 Apr 23, 2008
knucklehead wrote:
<quoted text>
yep. people don't realize what goes on in mausoleums.... or underground, in cemeteries. if they did, they'd choose cremation. seriously.
did you know that due to groundwater filling caskets, embalming, burial vaults, sealer caskets, our fatty diet, etc., MANY MILLIONS of bodoes buried in america have not decomposed to bones? instead, they've become something called adipocere, or to use another phrase, "soap mummies". awful.
at least most of the bodies in a mausoleum will eventually dry out. not so underground.
got another web site for you:
http://www.adipocere.homestead.com
I have seen these websites before. Very interesting. I have always had a fascination with death. Just harmless, perhaps morbid curiousity. I know a girl who works for Wilbert burial vaults. She told me that the higher end vaults do a good job of keeping the water out. It also helps to be buried on higher ground. When my mom passed away a few years ago, we had to disinter my nephew who passed away back in 1988. His vault was on the higher end and besides being dirty from being in the ground for nearly 20 years, the thing looked good as new. My mother has a vault lined with stainless steel. My father insisted on it. However, the vaults that are on the cheap end, made of concrete only with a non-sealing lid will absorb moisture very quickly. I guess you get what you pay for. As for me, I wish I could be buried with nothing. I know this is possible, but not at our family cemetery. Just wrap me in a sheet or something and throw the dirt on top of me.
JolietBob

Downers Grove, IL

#59 Apr 23, 2008
knucklehead wrote:
<quoted text>
i was just wondering- who in god's name could one hire to clean out those "giant grease-like traps" in the bowels of a mausoleum? think about that a minute- would a plumber do it? a crime scene/hazmat cleanup company?
in any case- even with the yellow suit and full respirator, you'd have to have the stongest stomach on earth to do that job- and it wouldn't hurt to have to have short term memory loss, so that you could forget you ever had to do that awful, foul job.
I worked at a fast food restaurant and I thought our floor grease traps were disgusting. I could not even fathom the stench from a human being. You would have to pay me a lot of money for that job. That mausoleum is just scary. My wife's friend lived in Westchester, about 3 blocks from that building on Wolf Road. You could see it from her corner. In the summer time, if the wind was blowing right, you would get that horrid odor. How anyone can live with that I'll never know. I lived near a crematory for 10 years and believe it or not, that smell was not offensive at all. A cross between incense and burnt toast. Just knowing were the smell was coming from could be upsetting to some. Sometimes at night, when they would cremate the John and Jane Does, my friends and I would be hanging out on my balcony and they would smell Woodlawn. They had no idea what it was. They would say, hey something smells good. I would just chuckle to myself. Sometimes I told them, sometimes I didn't.
knucklehead

Oswego, IL

#60 Apr 23, 2008
yes, a clark bell vault for example, will keep the casket out of the swamp that can be a cemetery. works on the principal of an upside down glass- stick it open end down in a filled sink, the air stasys in the glass, the water stays out. great concept.

a side question about your roofing buddy- how did he handle the smell up there on the mausoleum roof? i'd have to wear at least a mask with plenty of vicks vapo rub, like they do down at the county morgue.
knucklehead

Oswego, IL

#61 Apr 23, 2008
JolietBob wrote:
<quoted text>
I worked at a fast food restaurant and I thought our floor grease traps were disgusting. I could not even fathom the stench from a human being. You would have to pay me a lot of money for that job. That mausoleum is just scary. My wife's friend lived in Westchester, about 3 blocks from that building on Wolf Road. You could see it from her corner. In the summer time, if the wind was blowing right, you would get that horrid odor. How anyone can live with that I'll never know. I lived near a crematory for 10 years and believe it or not, that smell was not offensive at all. A cross between incense and burnt toast. Just knowing were the smell was coming from could be upsetting to some. Sometimes at night, when they would cremate the John and Jane Does, my friends and I would be hanging out on my balcony and they would smell Woodlawn. They had no idea what it was. They would say, hey something smells good. I would just chuckle to myself. Sometimes I told them, sometimes I didn't.
ah, woodlawn- that old crematory right there next to the Ike, in elmhurst? yikes, i remember seeing that thing churning out the smoke. i think it's been shut down a long time now- there's a modern one next door, a natural gas-fired retort (oven) that doesent throw off all that greasy black smoke like the old oil-fired one did. that old crematory is another scary looking building. what the heck is it about the cemetery business and all these frightening looking structures? all it does is scare people.

Since: Apr 08

Oswego, IL

#62 Apr 23, 2008
All this talk of mausoleums, crematories, etc., is making me ill. I just ate breakfast, for God's sake!
JolietBob

Downers Grove, IL

#63 Apr 23, 2008
knucklehead wrote:
<quoted text>
ah, woodlawn- that old crematory right there next to the Ike, in elmhurst? yikes, i remember seeing that thing churning out the smoke. i think it's been shut down a long time now- there's a modern one next door, a natural gas-fired retort (oven) that doesent throw off all that greasy black smoke like the old oil-fired one did. that old crematory is another scary looking building. what the heck is it about the cemetery business and all these frightening looking structures? all it does is scare people.
Actually that is Elm Lawn Crematory in Elmhurst. Woodlawn is in Forest Park on DesPlaines Rd. and Cermak Rd. You are right about Elm Lawn though. A very creepy cemetery, I actually have one of my first pets buried there in the pet section. The pet section is actually very beautiful. Well maintained graves with fresh flowers everywhere.
JolietBob

Downers Grove, IL

#64 Apr 23, 2008
knucklehead wrote:
yes, a clark bell vault for example, will keep the casket out of the swamp that can be a cemetery. works on the principal of an upside down glass- stick it open end down in a filled sink, the air stasys in the glass, the water stays out. great concept.
a side question about your roofing buddy- how did he handle the smell up there on the mausoleum roof? i'd have to wear at least a mask with plenty of vicks vapo rub, like they do down at the county morgue.
Actually it was a 2 day job only to do some patch work. The first day, he just put up with it. Apparently it wasn't constant, but every once and a while he would get overcome with the fumes. It was one of the times he was actually grateful for the smell of the tar. It was more pleasant than what was coming out of the vents. The second day he used a bandana. The vicks menthol under the nose would have been a good idea.

“I'm a knucklehead!”

Since: Apr 08

Lake In The Hills, IL

#65 Apr 24, 2008
JolietBob wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually that is Elm Lawn Crematory in Elmhurst. Woodlawn is in Forest Park on DesPlaines Rd. and Cermak Rd. You are right about Elm Lawn though. A very creepy cemetery, I actually have one of my first pets buried there in the pet section. The pet section is actually very beautiful. Well maintained graves with fresh flowers everywhere.
yeah, i meant elmlawn.

“I'm a knucklehead!”

Since: Apr 08

Lake In The Hills, IL

#66 Apr 24, 2008
JolietBob wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually it was a 2 day job only to do some patch work. The first day, he just put up with it. Apparently it wasn't constant, but every once and a while he would get overcome with the fumes. It was one of the times he was actually grateful for the smell of the tar. It was more pleasant than what was coming out of the vents. The second day he used a bandana. The vicks menthol under the nose would have been a good idea.
they're building a new mausoleum at st. michael's catholic cemetery in palatine(?), at algonquin and roselle roads. last time i passed by, i checked it out up close. i could see no sign of drains- vent holes sure, but no drains. hope i'm just not seeing them. nothing but problems otherwise. in public.
George Bush

United States

#68 Apr 24, 2008
Al Gore wrote:
If you stop warming the earth and buy energy credits, then Hillside will stop stinking
Global warming is a fiction. We need surge !
JolietBob

Wheaton, IL

#69 Apr 28, 2008
jimkube wrote:
<quoted text>
they're building a new mausoleum at st. michael's catholic cemetery in palatine(?), at algonquin and roselle roads. last time i passed by, i checked it out up close. i could see no sign of drains- vent holes sure, but no drains. hope i'm just not seeing them. nothing but problems otherwise. in public.
It will be quite a stink if they don't have proper drainage. Of course now a days when you are placed in a mausoleum, I believe the cemetery actually places the casket within a protective shell. Not a burial vault, but something to keep the bodily fluids contained. I also heard that if the casket has a rubber gasket which makes it air tight, they actually deactivate this feature so that air can get to the corpse and mummification can take place. Otherwise, if it is air tight, the casket can eventually rupture and leak out its contents. So if you ever have to have someone entombed in a mausoleum, don't have the undertaker charge you extra for an air-tight casket, chances are it will not be used.

“I'm a knucklehead!”

Since: Apr 08

Lake In The Hills, IL

#70 Apr 28, 2008
JolietBob wrote:
<quoted text>
It will be quite a stink if they don't have proper drainage. Of course now a days when you are placed in a mausoleum, I believe the cemetery actually places the casket within a protective shell. Not a burial vault, but something to keep the bodily fluids contained. I also heard that if the casket has a rubber gasket which makes it air tight, they actually deactivate this feature so that air can get to the corpse and mummification can take place. Otherwise, if it is air tight, the casket can eventually rupture and leak out its contents. So if you ever have to have someone entombed in a mausoleum, don't have the undertaker charge you extra for an air-tight casket, chances are it will not be used.
all true as you say. people need to think about all this and put it on paper, well before they die. if one wants a "dry" entombment, keep in mind that any sealer casket will be breached in order for the remains to mummify, before it is "pouched" in a plastic bag. unfortunately, insects, like the mausoleum fly (phorid fly), will likely make a home of the remains anyway- they'll always find a way to get in.

bottom line: don't pay for a sealer casket if it's going into a crypt! it's a waste of money.

funeral consumers need to educate themselves. learn about these things and decide for themselves.
Adam C Sieracki

Canada

#71 Aug 20, 2009
Interesting thread. The Queens Park Mausoleum up here in Calgary (Alberta, Canada) was built in three stages--stage three is almost done, in three levels. The first phase stinks rather badly, particularilly in the summer, which often gets to over 30C here. I guy from the city I spoke with aluded to certain 'mistakes' they made, in the construction of Phase One.
Like many new mausolea (and Queen of Heaven?), they use a polystyrene sealer plate caulked with acrylic-latex, to the crypt front, and the shutter merely held in place with those little bronze 'rosettes'--no grout, like the oldschool crypts. Since the concrete is often VERY rough and irregular, and the caulking can shrink over time, odour an those horrid phorid flies are an issue. In the winter, the stench is minimal (I usually go in there to use the bathroom, or get out of the rain; my grandfather is interred in the cemetary near the mausoleum). From the hillock over the back of the mausoleum complex, you can see the fairly elaborate ventillation system--lots of PVC pipe and whatnot.
A firm called PW Campbell has a new type of crypt construction, using concrete and rebar-filled plastic permanent forms, with integral vents and drainage. The plastic crypt fronts are very smooth, so (it's claimed) sealing would be good. I don't know where there's a mausoleum using this. There are also various casket enclosures (e.g., Ensure-a-Seal) and trays, claiming to mitigate the leak and stink problem. The private crypts I've seen DON'T stink; maybe it's 'cause they're better ventillated. Look online for some examples.
At any rate, LIVE people are more disgusting and dangerous than cadavers.(I HATE hospitals.) Things like HIV become inactive quickly in dead hosts. I'm not overly bothered by the smell, probably because I don't eat meat.(I've smelled meat departments in grocery stores that were as bad as Queen's Park Mausoleum in August.) BTW, the Queen's Park crematorium is right next to a group of condos on 4th Street...:@

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