Letter: What’s that fertilizer smell?

Residents report strange chemical odors in Hoboken, NJ

Received a few letters including the one below about a peculiar smell that has been lingering in the Hoboken air this spring.

“I’m wondering if anyone can share their thoughts, because I haven’t been able to find information elsewhere. Has anyone smelled something funny lately in the air, similar to the smell of fertilizer?

I often drive over the Pulaski Skyway, and I smell this odor most strongly around the Newark Ironbound area. However, I’ve smelled it last week as far out as Summit, and I’ve definitely smelled outside my apartment in Hoboken a few nights recently. Does anyone else know what I am talking about? If so, does anyone have thoughts on what this chemical smell is?”

411 Note: I’ve smelled this too. It does have a fertilizer like smell, but didn’t seem toxic. Could it be something as simple as pollen?

9 Responses

  1. Skelly says:

    …I find it to be more of a Leathery odor, when driving on the skyway. I smell it in the morning and at night, on the way home. If you take the Turnpike extension and after the tollbooth at 14C-14B you will smell fertilizer, for the recycling plant off the 14B exit composts piles of manure, probably along with who knows what…. you can see it steaming in the wee hours of the morning…. mmmm tasty 😉

    • GioDesa2 says:

      That’s exactly what I thought as well. A very noticible leather odor. [quote comment=”215950″]…I find it to be more of a Leathery odor, when driving on the skyway. I smell it in the morning and at night, on the way home. If you take the Turnpike extension and after the tollbooth at 14C-14B you will smell fertilizer, for the recycling plant off the 14B exit composts piles of manure, probably along with who knows what…. you can see it steaming in the wee hours of the morning…. mmmm tasty [/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        no it,s called cow caa caa aka motlch to grow plants in the applied housing area,,stinkey poo …how do farmers deal with stink of dirty socks?[quote comment=”215965″]That’s exactly what I thought as well. A very noticible leather odor.[/quote]

      • whineanddineinhob says:

        LMAO. caa caa. Had a neighbor that would go ballistic if she heard you use that term, so we were relentless and used it every chance we had.[quote comment=”215988″]no it,s called cow caa caa aka motlch to grow plants in the applied housing area,,stinkey poo …how do farmers deal with stink of dirty socks?[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        whine- u can say cockey poo as well but chit is chit and thats what grows the vegies we
        consume..it comes in and comes out.. if the bar code states organic the brainiacs believe
        the vegies were not sprayed…stinkey poo…crazy cycle ,it comes in and comes out into the ground…imagine the farmers pushing a plow and the horse donkey lets one go? you have no idea what your eating..but eat we must…[quote comment=”215992″]LMAO. caa caa. Had a neighbor that would go ballistic if she heard you use that term, so we were relentless and used it every chance we had.[/quote]

  2. OpenEyes says:

    I have been smelling something I have not smelled since Maxwell House closed down.
    We used to smell it once a week.
    The stink from making decaf coffee- Not a nice smell .

    another unpleasant smell is the red mulch everybody puts on their garden beds

  3. The Professor says:

    My concern is why some of these smells travel so far, enveloping the entire region. Not as much now, but Memorial Day weekend there was something unusual in the air. I don’t think it was pollen.

  4. Angry Bird says:

    Maybe it’s that green cesspool on Madison Street featured earlier?

  5. Snip119 says:

    I just came back from the Farmer’s Market, and coming up 13th Street by the YMCA I noticed the odor. I have noticed it in that vicinity before, I always thought it had something to do with the construction project going on at the Y.

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