Something stinks around south Nanaimo, and Alec McPherson, the Regional District of Nanaimo’s director for Cedar, wants a professional sniffer hired to root out the source.
McPherson will ask the district board today to hire a consultant with equipment to pinpoint the cause and check into odour-control measures taken by a Duke Point composting yard. He wants the stench to go away.
“This is like when you have a dead animal and you puncture it,” MacPherson said Monday.
“All you have to do is come off the ferry at Duke Point and you’ll gag because of the smell.”
He believes the source is a composting plant at Duke Point industrial park. International Composting Corp. accepts compost from the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
International Composting president Bryan Imber supports the district hiring a consultant to determine the source of the smell.
“There’s definitely odour on the site,” he said of his facility at Duke Point. “There’s rarely odour that we can smell from outside the fence line. It’s difficult for us to believe the smell would go a long way.”
Imber said his company received 28 complaints about odours last year, but most of them were not substantiated due to the wind direction at the time.
After he put forward his notice of motion, McPherson heard from members of Nanaimo council that the city is fielding lots of complaints from residents about bad smells.
Imber said the idea that the odour of rotting compost would drift across Nanaimo estuary to downtown “is almost impossible — I can’t imagine the circumstance where that could be possible.”
People living along the Nanaimo River are most affected because the smell gets drawn upstream by air currents, McPherson said.
Nanaimo has a five-year contract with International Composting and there are about two years remaining, McPherson said.
“Residents aren’t going to put up with that for another two years,” he said. “They’re talking about organizing and chaining themselves to gates. It’s pretty bad.”
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