‘Rotting flesh’: Saskatoon Silverwood Heights makes massive stink about neighbourhood odor – Saskatoon

Saskatoon residents are starting to complain about a strong and persistent smell coming from a food waste plant in the north end of the city.

“You can practically taste rotting flesh in your mouth,” said north-end resident Christopher Sander. “Some describe it as a chlorine mixed with mould, others have said it smells like rotting bananas with ammonia.”

West Coast Reduction, located in Saskatoon’s northern industrial area, specializes in food waste recycling and byproducts from farmers, primarily pork. In November, several dead pig carcasses were left piled outside the plant, adding to the already intense smells escaping the plant’s boundaries.

Sander said he was shocked to learn that the City of Saskatoon doesn’t have an air quality policy.

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“I think most larger cities do and even just having an air quality officer, someone to monitor what’s happening in our industrial zones.”

The north industrial area was originally zoned for heaving industry and West Coast Reduction is currently following all zoning laws.

Sander said the city should reconsider zoning laws as city neighbourhoods expand beyond the area.

“I think the bigger issue is with the growth of the city there is a large population living very close to this industrial-zoned area. The industrial zone may need to be looked at as it is very close to 51st Street, which is commercial and very close to Silverwood Heights schools and churches,” said Sander.

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The plant had been closed for the past few years and before that, daily operations would only cause odour issues approximately one to two times a summer. City councillor Randy Donauer said that this year something is different: the smells are worse than they have ever been and are consistent.

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On Nov. 28 and 29, Donauer brought two notices to the city to address the issue.

“It’s not just that there is an odour in the air if you smell a rendering plant, it turns your stomach,” said Donauer.

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He said he has heard that residents in the area have started changing their exercise plans to indoor activities because they can no longer stomach going for an outdoor walk.

“I am familiar with the U of S barns and the water treatment plant smells, and this is not the smell,” said Jennifer Peeves, an 11-year Silverwood Heights resident. “The stink of rotting flesh that is permeating in the north end is unlike any other.

“I don’t think the smell of boiling rotten animals is something that should be normalized in an area with nine schools.”

Donauer is looking to involve the provincial government in solutions as well as the federal government if necessary.

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“It is affecting quality of life for our residents so something needs to be done, and I’m not trying to get down on the business, this is their business, and this is where they are supposed to be, I just think we need to work with them to see if there’s something that can be done.”

Donauer asked city administration to report the measures already taken by the city to mitigate the odours coming from the plant in the past, as well as what legal options the city can look at in the future.

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West Coast Reduction in Saskatoon said it is aware of Donauer’s request but based on recent communications with staff, it came as a surprise to them.

“We appreciate the councilor bringing this to light and we look forward to working with staff to resolve this.”

Donauer hopes to hear back from city administration in January or February 2023.

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