People near Fredericton dump must hold noses until fall, city says
The Fredericton Solid Waste Commission says the smell from the city landfill will be gone by the fall, but that's not soon enough for local residents.
Ten-year-old Cassandra MacFarlane, who lives in the Lincoln Heights neighbourhood close to the dump, likes to play volleyball with her brother outside, but stays inside when there's a breeze blowing from the nearby landfill.
"Those kinds of days, I just run inside," she said on the weekend. "It makes me feel sick."
Motorcycle enthusiast Reg Bonnell said he can't escape the smell by rolling up the window.
"We get the full whiff as you're driving by, and it's just a noxious, gassy smell of rotting material," he said.
Alison Aiten, a spokeswoman for the Fredericton Solid Waste Commission, saidthe organization has beeninstalling a piping system to try to reduce the smell. The systemshould be complete by November.
To install the pipe, however, workers have to dig into garbage that has piled up for years, a move thatis making the smell even worse.
"We need to get into [the garbage] in order to get the piping in there, in order to pull the gases out toflare them off, so it's kind of short-term pain for a long-term gain," Aiten said.
New pipe system could power up to 1,000 homes
The$2-million pipe systemcould be used to generate power as well ascleaning the air, Aiten said.
She said the landfill produces about 28 cubic metres per hour of methane. If that was burned, it could create up to 1.5 kilowatts of electricity, enough energy to power as many as 1,000 homes.
"One of the things we're looking at is possibly â¦ using it to power our own facilities," she said.
Louise Paulin-Robichaud, who lives in the area, said that she hopes the problem can be fixed soon — regardless of the long-term benefits of the new pipe system.
"It's a nice neighborhood and you go outside and it smells like garbage all the time," she said. "It's not very pleasant. I think it would stop people from moving into the area and I'm afraid maybe in a few months or years maybe the price of property will go down."