Some people in western Labrador are concerned about a pile of food trash dumped just outside Wabush, saying the smell is attracting bears.

Area resident Ed Brown says 20 buckets of rotting food scraps are bringing bears into the area, potentially putting people at risk.

Ed Brown

Area resident Ed Brown says bear tracks spotted near the stinking mess near his cabin has him worried about the safety of people living close by. (CBC)

The stinking mess is across the road from Brown's cabin where he lives year round.

"There's people, and kids, that are there all the time, in the summer time especially, this time of year," said Brown.

"It's terrible — the flies that are here, the maggots. It don't smell very good."

Conservation Officer Chuck Porter said it's not clear who left the garbage out in the woods, but people need to be aware of the potential risks involved with dumping food waste out in the open.

Conservation Officer Chuck Porter

Conservation Officer Chuck Porter says there have been several bears removed from the region already this year. (CBC)

"In the case where they leave garbage out that contains food or strong scent, then it's really a double negative because now you have an attractant that's there for a bear, particularly if it's in an area like this one around some cabins," said Porter.

"We've actually successfully taken out three bears so far this year — live trapped them and relocated them into a different area."

The Town of Wabush previously installed cameras in various wooded areas around town to catch and fine illegal dumpers, but the area in question isn't currently under surveillance.

There is no word yet on who will be responsible for cleaning up the mess.