Some Montréal-Nord residents are calling for the city to end its garbage collection pilot project on Jubinville Avenue where they say endless odours and pests are making life miserable on the street.
It all started back in November as a municipal effort to better organize garbage collection. The borough, working with the city, installed large bins for people to dump their trash in.
The aim is to pick up the trash in one fell swoop rather than stopping every few metres to load up the garbage truck, but residents say ever since the bins were installed, they've caused nothing but problems.
Several protesters gathered on Monday to call for an end to the project and a return to weekly collection.
Among them was Sam Bexnan who said it's not just the overflowing bins that are the problem; it's not easy for older residents to haul their trash to the bins, lift the lids and toss everything inside.
"The old people, they can't come here in the winter. They fall," said Sam Bexnan, lamenting the piles of garbage and the effort it takes to load his own trash into the bins.
"It's heavy sometimes."
Bexnan lives near the bins but, he said, imagine those with mobility issues who live further away and have to walk their trash down the street before tossing it all into a large, lidded bin.
"It's terrible," he said.
Shelley Roy is among those who fell on the ice this winter trying to load her trash into the bin. She got pretty hurt, she said, but that's not the worst of it.
Roy says now that it's summer, she has to close her windows because of the stench. Her building is right near bins and the smell is unbearable, she said.
"I get sick to my stomach," she said.
Opening the cover is a nightmare and the city isn't cleaning the bins nor listening to complaints, she said.
The borough, however, is asking residents to be patient as officials scramble for ways to successfully carry the pilot project on through to the end of the year.
"We will ask for there to be a third pickup a week," said Montréal-Nord borough Coun. Chantal Rossi.
"Before there was garbage everywhere, this is at least more organized."
The borough is already considering expanding this pilot to other streets in the neighbourhood, said Rossi. Once this project wraps up, officials will move forward with other projects.
Residents say that isn't good enough.
Lucy Rodrigues, who owns a building on the street, says the old system worked better and she wants everything back the way it was.
"At least we had the garbage out once a week. It wasn't this terrible problem," she said.