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Crews bury red tide debris to reduce smell near landfills

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - Hold your breath. The smell of dead fish may be moving inland, near canals, and about a dozen miles away from the shoreline east of I-75.

"As soon as you walk outside, bam!" explained Mark Albritton, who lives two miles from the Manatee County landfill on Lena Road.

Residents in Lakewood Ranch and Myakka City wonder if what they're smelling is coming from the landfill which takes in about 1,000 tons of waste daily.

Manatee County has dumped 200 tons of red tide debris at the landfill on Lena Road in August, but officials say the amount of dead wildlife is small compared to the amount of overall trash taken to the landfill.

"You would think they would burn it," explained Lakewood Ranch resident Wendy Ivanov.

Manatee County explained the waste is covered in a thick layer of dirt to minimize odors, and Sarasota County staff is doing the same thing at its landfill in Nokomis.

ABC7 Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan says what locals are smelling is likely coming from the gulf when the area experiences strong, west winds.

"When the wind picks up, you can really smell it inside the house," said John Skipper, Palmetto resident.

Both Sarasota and Manatee officials say they haven't received any calls related to red tide odors near the landfill, but the dead sea life will continue to be dumped on that land until the bloom washes away.

"I hope that they figure out whats going on and I hope that it's resolved soon," said Albritton.