Protesting outside animal byproduct company Sanimax on Saturday, dozens of Rivière-des-Prairies residents say they have had enough and are asking the company to relocate.
Instead of spending Saint-Jean-Baptiste outdoors with family and friends, many Rivière-des-Prairies residents say they spent the holiday indoors with the windows shut.
They claim the odour that comes from the factory had returned.
“Rotting carcases, sewage, it’s a putrid smell,” resident Vincenzo Alancellotta said.
Louis Vannah, who just moved to Thomas Paine Street, was hosting guests but she said even they requested they stay inside because of the smell.
Sanimax Operations vice-president Vincent Brossard attributed the smell to degradation of organic materials in trucks left outdoors after experiencing electrical issues.
But after allegedly experiencing the same odour last summer, resident Theo Vecera said he is done being patient.
“We asked them, we were kind, we were patient, we wanted to work in collaboration… but this is ongoing,” he said.
Residents are now asking Sanimax to leave the area.
Despite their pleas, Brossard says the company has measures in place to improve the factory over the next several years and will not be relocating.
“This is not on the table for us but we totally agree and acknowledge that we need to improve,” he said.
Part of the action plan includes improved relations with the City of Montreal and RDP residents in order to improve their quality of life.
He said the company has already started to make improvements by implementing a citizens committee where three citizens have been elected to speak on behalf of the community, creating a Facebook page and a blog.
Borough Coun. and resident Lisa Christensen says an improved quality of life is something RDP residents deserve.
“We cannot be the garbage can of the city, we have homes, we have families, we have schools,” she said.
“We deserve to have clean air to breathe.”