RDP residents finally out of COVID lockdown only to suffer foul smells of meat rendering plant


The dispute between some Rivière-des-Prairies residents and a nearby meat rendering plant has been going on for years -  the city even going to court and the company being fined. But now residents are so fed up with the strong repulsive odours coming from the facility they're organizing a protest this weekend, the first of what they promise to be a series of actions to get them out of the neighbourhood.

Despite an action plan promised by Sanimax, the foul odours haven't disappeared, made worse by the recent heatwaves. 

Berta Ricciuti and her familly have lived near the plant for ten years - she said she can't even describe what it smells like.

"It's the whole area, whether it be in our backyard or taking a walk with your dog Sundays, it's unbearable," said Ricciuti who along with other residents reached out to yourstory@cjad.com

"It forces you back inside. The other day, my kids were in the pool and they were all gagging. They had to come back in and one of the boys actually threw up in his own mouth."

The company apologizes on its website for the recent odours - its operations delayed with more trucks than usual containing carcasses parked in its yard.  It's promising to speed up operations to get rid of the smelly backlog plus a new citizens' committee. It also claims its modernization plan is having an impact

Sanimax has not yet responded to CJAD 800's request for comment.

Ricciuti said they've heard promises before and this Saturday's protest outside the plant is sending a message: "Enough is enough and they must go."

Ricciuti said they just want to be able to enjoy their homes and backyards.

"It's not fair that we don't have that right to breathe clean air without feeling ill or nauseous, getting headaches, gagging - it's very unfortunate," said Ricciuti.

"After a long confinement indoors, we should have the same rights as the rest of the world."


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