‘It smelled like a pile of 100 human bodies rotting’

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Heather Wright
The Independent

Brooke-Alvinston council wants a pile of bio-solids on Ebenezer Line covered up.

Neighbours of the rural property have long complained about the pile of biosolids just across the road from their home.

One has asthma and says she cannot leave the home because of the smell.

The odour is masked when the pile is covered with a tarp. But last weekend, Roger Buurma – whose family owns Lasalle Agri which sells biosolids as fertilizer – began moving the pile around bringing it to some of the fields to spread.

Councillors were inundated with calls from the neighbours, so Jamie Armstrong went over to see what the problem was.

“It smelt like a pile of 100 human bodies rotting, that’s what it smelt like at the road,” said Armstrong. “It’s very, very rancid. I had to close my window.”

Councillor Wayne Deans wanted council to act.

“Is there anyway they can cover it back up when they’re done with it,” he says.
Mayor Dave Ferguson says it had been covered up when he drove by after receiving complaints but the mayor suggested the pile doesn’t need to be uncovered completely.

“We could ask him to uncover it as they need to, incrementally…just pull the tarp back as needed.”

Council will write a letter to Buurma asking him to consider the move.

But, Ferguson pointed out there was little council could do.

Brooke-Alvinston, Warwick and Dawn-Euphemia are embroiled with Lasalle Agri at the Normal Farm Practices Board.

The company says storing the biosolids – a government registered fertilizer – in large quantities is part of normal farm business. The municipalities say it is turning farmland into commercial storage.

The hearing on the issue could be over a year away.

Armstrong suggested council should keep track of the promises made by the company and point out when they were broken, passing everything along to the municipalities lawyer for use during the hearing.