People living in Montréal North’s Jubinville Avenue say they are sick of seeing their garbage pile up and the foul smell it emits.
“Some of my tenants, they left,” said Lucy Rodrigues, whose family owns a building on the street.
“They can’t sit on their balcony because they always see that and they smell it. That’s completely ridiculous.”
Two sets of three garbage bins each were installed on opposing sides of Jubinville Avenue in October 2020 as part of a one-year pilot project conducted by the borough.
On Monday afternoon, residents staged a small protest to show the borough the pilot project isn’t working.
The protest was organized by ACORN, a community organization helping low-income neighborhoods.
“There’s lots of bugs. Even the garbage collectors yell when they come and pick it up,” said Diane Poirier, a spokesperson for ACORN.
“I can understand the mayor had goodwill and wanted to try something, but it’s not working.”
Rodrigues and Poirier say there are not enough bins to cover the whole street and the city doesn’t come to pick up the garbage as often as needed.
“It was good before, so why would they put them here?” Rodrigues said.
Rodrigues says she has sent emails to the borough and more than 200 pictures but her concerns have been brushed off.
Both Rodrigues and Poirier say they want the borough to go back to collecting garbage as it used to, allowing people to bring their waste out on the street during garbage day and have the city pick it up twice a week.
“When you have buildings like that, between eight to 12 apartments per building, it’s too much. You can’t do it like that and they’re not saving money collecting the garbage, so why are they doing it?” Rodrigues said.
Borough officials defended the project.
“It’s a pilot project, it’s a work in progress,” said Abdelhaq Sari, Montreal-North acting borough mayor. “Before the pilot project, the situation was worse.”
Sari says before the borough installed the bins, the whole street was dirty and now it’s all contained in one spot.
Borough officials say they’re working on the issues, including asking the city of Montréal for a third collection during the week.
They say that citizens are not doing their part to sort their garbage properly.
“Why is it working in other boroughs and not in Montréal-North?” said Sari, adding that similar pilot projects have to do less than two pickups.
“We have to work together to have more education for our people and to have better situation for our pilot project.”
The pilot project wraps up in November for Jubinville Avenue.
Borough officials say they will evaluate the results with their partners which include the city of Montreal and determine whether or not the project will continue.