If there’s one thing that most of us would love about staying at home, it’s being able to walk around everywhere in our pyjamas.
Oh, and being able to be away from all the odd smells and stenches that would otherwise fill our nostrils while we’re outside.
But that doesn’t seem like the case for residents living at this Housing Development Board (HDB) block in Bedok, for a garbage centre is located right opposite their block.
Yup, they’re going through what many of us would probably describe as our worst nightmare.
According to the residents, the pungent stench from the garbage centre will enter their homes whenever a strong gust of wind blows the stench towards their units.
In fact, it’s gotten so bad that many residents have resorted to shutting their windows to prevent the stench from getting into their homes.
Here’s what they have to say.
When speaking to Shin Min Daily News, residents of Block 10B Bedok South Avenue 2 mentioned that the stench is a part of their daily lives.
A lady surnamed Huang (Hanyu pinyin), who lives in a unit on one of the higher floors, claimed that the smell of rubbish permeates the area every morning, afternoon and night.
In particular, the stench appears every day from 7 pm to 9 am, 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm as the shutters of the garbage centre are opened during those times.
Ms Huang added that she has no choice but to close all the windows and doors at home during those times.
Sometimes, they even have to switch on their air-conditioning.
Apart from that, Ms Huang pointed out that the workers do not shut the shutters of the garbage centre properly sometimes.
As long as the shutters are not rolled down, the stench of garbage will travel to residents’ homes.
Another resident, a lady surnamed Wu, agreed that the stench started becoming a prevalent issue in residents’ lives after the garbage centre was built.
She also echoed Ms Huang’s opinions, saying that the stench gets worse when there is wind in the area.
Ms Wu, who has been staying in her current unit on the fifth floor for over 30 years, said that she also shuts all her doors and windows.
However, she said that she and her family did not file any complaints with the authorities as they feel that such stench issues are inevitable for residents living on lower storeys.
A helper living on the seventh floor also mentioned that she and her employers notice that the stench always appears during mealtimes.
Residents Once Came Together to Complain to Town Council, but Nothing Was Done
Apart from that, the residents also revealed that around a dozen of them once wrote a letter to the Town Council in 2016 to inform them of the stench issue.
Ms Huang added that there is a small park next to the garbage centre. According to her, she used to do her morning exercise there when the park and garbage centre were first built.
However, she stopped after a while as the stench got unbearable.
When recounting the letter that the residents wrote to inform the Town Council of the issue, Ms Huang said that the Town Council did not provide the residents with a definite follow-up afterwards.
Ms Huang also disclosed that after the many complaints that residents filed with the relevant authorities, cleaners were deployed to the centre to clean it up.
However, the stench was still as strong the next day.
Additionally, Ms Huang said that she does not understand why the relevant authorities chose to build a rubbish centre since the area already has garbage chutes.
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Town Council’s Response
When responding to queries from Shin Min, the East Coast Town Council mentioned that the garbage centre at Block 8 Bedok South Avenue 2 was built in 1975.
The Town Council added that they are aware of residents’ feedback regarding the stench issue and that they are observing the situation closely.
In particular, they have already conducted checks and repair works on the shutters.
Additionally, the Town Council said that they would ensure that the shutters are shut completely when the garbage centre is not being used.
According to them, this will prevent any stenches or pests from travelling out of the garbage centre.
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