Unusual odor in Wauwatosa

Shoppers and residents noticing a strong scent

CREATED Feb. 29, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb. 29, 2012

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  • Jesse Ritka reports Video by wtmj.com

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WAUWATOSA - Lately there's been a funny smell in Wauwatosa, Chuck Jagemann has noticed it, "Kind of foul, like a rotting kind of smell, there's a sweet quality to it, kind of makes your nose crinkle."

Jagemann's noticed the smell while shopping and around his Wauwatosa home, he's worried the odor could turn people and noses away from Wauwatosa.

"It just makes me think with all this high traffic around Mayfair and this area, that people coming into this area must wonder what that smell is because you don't smell it any place else and so I think it's kind of a distraction and kind of hurts Tosa's reputation to be honest," says Jagemann.

The center of the scent is less than a mile away from Mayfair Mall, at the Wauwatosa Recycling Center.

Public Works Director Bill Porter has heard several complaints this year about the smell, "Our contractor who processes the waste for us is using a different area of the compost site that he hasn't in the past and plus the warm weather, we haven't had any frost so I think that's a contributing to the problem."

Since southern Wisconsin has seen more rain than snow this winter, the smell is even worse Porter explains, "It's a wet area and yes, the rain and the warm temperatures, lack of frost on the ground, that's exacerbated it."

So the leaves and the compost piles are being moved.

"We wanted to jump on it, meet with our contractor, we're getting that pile relocated and hopefully that will mitigate the problem," states Porter.  Jagemann hopes that will send sweeter smells his way, "I'm happy they're moving it, that's long overdue."