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Stinky Situation: Chelo’s owners fear trash transfer will ‘put us out of business’

Rhode Island business owners said a proposal to move a trash transfer station in Pawtucket stinks. (WJAR)

Rhode Island business owners said a proposal to move a trash transfer station in Pawtucket stinks.

The city of Pawtucket wants to move its garbage transfer station from Grotto Avenue to Concord Street.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said the current station has a slew of problems, including contaminants in the ground and a rodent infestation. Additionally, the proposed nine-acre property sits behind the Amtrak station. Grebien said the city is looking at shipping debris out, which would cut down on truck traffic.

The owner of Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille is worried that droves of garbage trucks driving past his restaurant would kill his business on Silver Spring Street.

“This will cripple us. This won't hurt us. It will put us out of business,” Glenn Chelo told NBC 10 News.

The city wants to relocate the station behind The Car Store, near the Pawtucket-Providence line. The city estimates nearly 200 vehicles would go in and out of the station every day -- about half of them would be trucks.

Others agree.

“We're in the retail business. The public coming here every day, they're not going to want to come here with trucks going by you know and trash flying all over,” James Semenkow, owner of The Car Store said. “Not only that -- the smell, the seagulls, the rodents. I mean this is going to be a major problem for us.”

Business owners understand the city needs a transfer station. They just don't want it in their backyards.

“You're going to smell garbage every day of the week,” Chelo said.

The Pawtucket Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Pawtucket City Hall.

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