RDP residents struggle to cope with rendering plant's strong odour
Residents of Riviere des Prairies are fed up with the stench coming from an animal rendering plant.
"It's like dead animals, and a skunk comes along and sprays it not once, not twice, but 10 times. It really suffocates you," said Theo Vecera.
He lives near the Sanimax plant on Maurice Duplessis Blvd. at 63rd Ave. and says the smell often wafts over the neighbourhood.
The plant has been collecting and processing animal carcasses and meat by-products for decades, but as the area around the factory becomes more residential, it's leading to more complaints.
Sylvia Simoniello is shocked by whath she has seen.
"I've seen trucks that have meat, or remaining of I don't know what, falling off," she said.
Hundreds of people have joined the Sanimax SOS Facebook page in an effort to get the company to clean up its act.
According to borough councillor Manuel Guedes, Sanimax has promised to install carbon filters on the trucks that transport waste, and build garages in an effort to contain the smell.
Guedes said Sanimax has been stonewalling ever since making the promise two years ago.
"They just do what they want to do and God forbid you'd put a little pressure on them. Guess what they do? They put in your lawyers and they countersue and that's what they're doing with us," said Guedes.
Sanimax is disputing almost $400,000 in fines for refusing to provide the borough with information about environmental standards.
Company director Eric Caputo said Sanimax is working on solutions.
"It's not a cost thing, it's not what the issue is," said Caputo. "It's taken longer than we all hoped it would take, but that is what it is right now."
Vecera said he is tired of promises, and just wants a solution.
"I expect that Sanimax to be a good corporate citizen, I expect Sanimax to follow through on promises that they made, not that we made, invest in the technology to reduce the smell, because they can reduce the smell," said Vecera.
He is urging his neighbours to contact the borough with complaints, and is planning a campaign at the end of the summer to raise more awareness.