For over two days, the residents of Stevedore Housing Scheme have been livid over the stench emanating from a broken compactor loaded with garbage, which is parked in the nearby Cevon’s Waste Management storage facility.
Residents from the front of the scheme said that before the facility was put in place, they were promised by the company manager that they would not be affected by the smell. However, this was not the case yesterday, as when Stabroek News visited the area the stench of the garbage was immediately evident as was the presence of flies in the area.
One disgusted resident stated that the smell is so “terrible” that it literally gives her a rude awakening in the mornings. The woman explained that she and her ailing parents would normally converge at the front of their yard, which faces the facility. But they are now met by the stench.
Her neighbours also complained that the stench and the flies are unhealthy for the children living in the area. A vendor was even forced to remain indoors with her two small children, instead of taking them out with her when she went out to sell near the gate of the facility.
One resident told this newspaper that a few years back, before the facility was opened, the manager went around the neighbourhood and promised to wash the garbage vehicles on a regular basis, to manage the bush behind the facility’s now high concrete fence, while at the same time assuring that the residents “won’t smell nothing.” The woman said that after the facility went into operation, at first the vehicles used to be washed regularly but the frequency has slowly dwindled. She also related that this is not the first time that the scent is affecting them. “They is normally knock off at 5 [pm] and when you see that time reach and they ain’t get to empty the trucks, sometimes is five, six trucks is be parked deh full with rubbish, and if yuh does smell it,” she said, while adding that the current situation is the worst case so far.
When Stabroek News contacted the manager of Cevon’s Waste Management, he explained that on Sunday one of the company’s compactors broke down and had to be taken back to the facility.
He said that as it was Sunday, the company was unable to find a mechanic to fix the machine, which was loaded with garbage that was locked in, hence the stench. The manager also explained that the task of repairing the truck is a time-consuming one.
When asked if there were any alternative measures to be taken to get rid of the waste causing the stench, he explained that the waste is locked in the compactor and if opened “all would fall out” thereby causing more work and an even greater stench.” He also divulged that this is not the first time the compactor has broken down, but it is the first time it has happened in the vicinity of the facility.
He said that management is working on rectifying the situation by today the latest, and in the meantime the workers at the facility have been instructed to disinfect the area three times a day to reduce the scent.
While some of the residents are livid and disgusted with the situation and are hoping for the facility to be relocated, others are just asking for the management to find a way to quickly fix the compactor and to put some measures in place that will ensure that there is not a repeat.