NORWALK, Conn. – Marcella Darahona of South Norwalk says she'd like to bring her baby outside to play in her yard facing City Carting, but it just isn't possible. The smell is too bad, she says.
The smell is "absolutely horrid," agrees Bitsy Farnsworth, a Harbor View resident who says she's thankful she experiences it only for five or 10 minutes as she drives through. "For these people who live to the north and south, it's a real mess," she said. "They have to endure it 24/7. I don't know how they stand it."
Last month, Farnsworth and others complained about the smell at City Carting, to which Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord responded that the city had gotten almost no complaints from citizens. Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E) said he visited the plant and while it did smell in the parking lot, it didn't smell once he got out into the street. But City Carting's management says it is trying to make things right.
It's been at least two weeks since the company kept a trailer of garbage outside, according to owner Michael Ferro.
That seems to be working. Darahona, who has lived across the street for four years, says, the "smell has been better" lately.
Ferro says there will still be trailers containing construction and demolition debris on the property.
Standing on his property at noon Wednesday, Ferro pointed out that there was no smell. "We are here to be good neighbors," he said. "This transfer station has been here since 1979. It's a necessary evil. It's like insurance."
The company takes in an average of 100 loads a day, including garbage and debris it has collected as well as that collected by outside haulers. City Carting does bring in garbage from outside of Norwalk, he said. The average intake is 375 tons a day, a combination of garbage and construction debris, Ferro said.
His company has used a deodorizer for more than two years, but has changed the deodorizing agent. "It's more of a neutralizer than a perfume," he said. "It seems to do a much better job of neutralizing the odor and not just covering the odor."
Darahona says she has never called the city to complain about the smell. "My English is not so good," she says, holding her 11-month-old son in her arms. She says she did go to Fire Station No. 5 to ask for help. Firefighters agreed with her that it was bad but told her nothing could be done, she says. They told her to spray a deodorizer around her apartment.
Ferro said his office welcomes phone calls. The number is (203) 882-5354. It's also posted on the gate to the property.
Farnsworth and others promise to use it.
Ernie Dumas, who lives on South Main Street, says. "We're going to be watching that and working with them closely, and making phone calls to them to let them know that we're watching very closely."
Correction made, 12:10 p.m.