Bilo Responds to Dumpster Complaint

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – During the October Brockway Borough Council meeting last week, several residents complained to the council about a smell emanating from a dumpster behind Martino’s Bilo.

Bilo Owner John Martino said that the problem has been ongoing, but the issue has not been going on for very long.

“We’ve been here since 1963 and we just started having problems,” Martino said.

The residents said they live behind Bilo and that have been dealing with the issue for many years. They read zoning ordinances about “noxious odors” and also gave suggestions, such as keeping meat in the freezer until the day garbage will be collected.

The residents added that their children have vomited due to the smell. They have called Bilo, asking the store to close the dumpster, but there is also liquid oozing out of the dumpster. In warmer months, they say the smell is so bad they do not want to go into their own garage.

Martino said that the residents have called and he has dealt with the issue, but he has also suggested that they close the lid themselves if his employees forget.

“I have 30 people working for me,” he said. “Sometimes, they forget to close the lid. They call me, I call the store, and we do what we can. I did have to block one person’s number on my phone because of how often they called. I tell them to call the store and let the manager know.”

The ooze, Martino added, was not meat, but ice cream. The freezer failed recently and Martino lost entire batches of ice cream. They cleaned out the freezer and called Advanced Disposal to empty the dumpster an extra time, but when he came back after the weekend, it was still full. He called Advanced and they said they would check the truck cameras.

“We dispose of meat in plastic bags,” he said. “It doesn’t ooze, but it can smell on a hot day. The liquid was likely the ice cream.”

Martino added that he, at his own expense, has been trying to correct the issue.

“The dumpster gets pulled Monday night,” he said. “On Tuesday, we bleach the whole thing. Then we use a deodorizer that looks like cat litter. We also try to keep the lid closed.”

Martino said the deodorizer was something he started three weeks ago. He uses it twice a week. Usually, the garbage does not overflow the dumpster, but if he needs to have Advanced pull the dumpster more often, he will.

“It’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to make this right, but the whole area is zoned commercial,” he said.

Martino will be talking to Advanced about options. He said that the smell issues did not start until a new style of dumpster was brought in after Advanced Disposal got new trucks. The dumpster works with those trucks, but the old dumpsters did not create cause for complaints. In the meantime, Martino said that the neighbors can keep calling the store whenever the lid is open.

“We want to be good neighbors,” he said. “If you look at the rest of my operation, you’ll see that we’re very neat and very put-together.”

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