The smell from Bonduelle: Company apologizes for odour at Tecumseh plant

·2 min read
Bonduelle's facility in Tecumseh is shown in a file photo. (Google Maps - image credit)
Bonduelle's facility in Tecumseh is shown in a file photo. (Google Maps - image credit)

An unpleasant odour coming from the Bonduelle vegetable processing plant in Tecumseh is leading to complaints.

People who live near the plant have grown used to various smells, depending on the time of year, but this time the odour is really unpleasant and residents have spoken out.

Nancy Vigeant, the general manager of the nearby Carrots N' Dates restaurant, said it's hard to explain.

"There's definitely a smell in the air. On certain days, like definitely on humid days and stuff like that for sure, but other than that, I think we're far enough away that we don't get too much of it. I kind of do avoid it, like on days where I drive in and I can smell it from my car, that day for sure I will be driving. I won't be walking."

Robert Anderson, the vice president of operations for Bonduelle, spoke with Chris dela Torre Thursday on CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive.

He said the company began hearing from neighbours this week.

"We started to get complaints that we had a different odour, a very pungent, strong odour. Not an earthy odour, not a vegetable smell odour. So at that point, we were able to determine that we had a problem and we had to act quickly," he said.

The problem was traced to malfunctioning equipment at Bonduelle's waste water lagoon system, he said.

LISTEN: Robert Anderson of Bonduelle on Afternoon Drive

"When these two aerators malfunctioned, it happened to be in one zone of the lagoon, so that stagnation is where the odour was coming from," said Anderson.

He said the company has made efforts in recent years to improve its operations to reduce odours and is "disappointed and discouraged" about the current situation.

"As a company, we understand the importance of, and strive to be a good corporate citizen and a neighbour, so we apologize for this inconvenience," he said.

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