The weather is getting warmer, but Helen Sieber is having trouble enjoying it.
A mere 10 steps from the two-storey semi-detached she’s lived in for three decades is a growing pile of smelly garbage.
Sieber and her husband are located on a quiet dead-end street right next to Herbert Carnegie Centennial Arena’s parking lot near Bathurst St. and Finch Ave. West.
The lot, which backs on to a hydro corridor, has been fenced off since June 26, when the city turned it into one of the 19 mini-dump sites available to residents during the city strike.
Convenient for residents who don’t have regular garbage pick-up, but it stinks for those who live nearby.
Sieber is handling it well, but admits she’s had to start closing her sliding doors when the wind picks up and sends a putrid odour her way. She wants to keep her distance as much as possible.
“We spoke to them twice to make sure (the bags) don’t come up to the blue fence, she said yesterday.
Across the street from Sieber, Rebecca Cohen has choice words for the situation.
“It smells and it’s gross,” she said. “It makes the house look bad.
“It’s a garbage dump in our backyard.”
Her mother Esther Pinto dislikes being so close, but said you can’t fight city hall.
“What are we going to do, they got to work it out and finish this strike,” she said.
On the west side of the dump is another series of dead-end streets that ultimately filter onto Finch Ave. West.
Prakash Lal’s home faces the dump.
“It’s not nice,” the 16-year resident said. “It’s summer, we want to come sit down outside but we can’t.
“We pay property tax, we don’t want all the garbage here, they should put it somewhere else, there’s houses everywhere.”
Despite the mess, she said it was better than in 2002, when she saw people tossing the garbage haphazardly onto the lot.
“This one is more organized than the last time,” Lal said. “This time they put the gate.”
The lack of maintenance for the soccer field that runs behind the dump is also becoming problematic, said Flynn Beharry, general manager of the North York Hearts Soccer Club.
Soccer moms are starting to complain about the smell wafting from the temporary dump and a lack of parking, said Beharry. Some have started inquiring about refunds for the season.
“Do you realize what a nightmare it is to give a refund to 2,000 people?” he said.
Beharry said home games for rep teams have also had to be cancelled because the club plays at Esther Shiner stadium, which is closed during the labour disruption. There’s no staff to cut the grass on the seven soccer fields that span from Bathurst to Dufferin Sts., and no one to turn on the lights on the field for night games.
“We’re operating on less than ideal conditions,” Beharry said.
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