AVENAL, California (KSEE) – Residents in Avenal say a nearby landfill is ruining their quality of life.
From the stench to health concerns, they say instead of growing, it needs to go. Wednesday evening more than a hundred residents gathered at Avenal Elementary School to make a plan of action.
“The smell is just unbearable,” says Erika Garza who grew up in Avenal but is now advocating for the residents.
Many life-long residents attended the community meeting and said they’ve noticed the smell worsen over recent years.
“Especially at night in the summer it smells really really bad,” said Lorena Campos.
Many advocates for the shut down of the landfill say it’s impacting the health of people living in the town.
“Even if it is up to code to state standard there are still health risks, that’s not going to stop people from getting cancer, asthma and bronchitis and other respiratory illness,” says Erika Garza.
Residents signed a petition calling on the city council to shut down the dump. It’s racked up more than 1,200 signatures.
Garza says there are piles of dead animals being dumped at the landfill. Medical waste and other materials sometimes fall out of trucks on the way to the landfill.
“This is a non-English speaking community and letting the non-English speaking people know they have a voice they can be heard they are not in the shadows there are people here who care and want to give them a platform to express how they feel,” says Garza.
The site manager at the landfill says he has not heard the community’s concerns and is willing to answer any of their questions and resolve the issue during future meetings with the city council.
Some of the concerned residents plan to attend the next city council meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 5:15 p.m. at the Avenal Theater.