STRANGE SMELL: Odor Alert In Downtown

If you smelled something a little foul in downtown Des Moines the last couple days you’re not alone.

There were so many complaints to the city it triggered an odor alert.

The smell caused several complaints and a city inspection that traced the smell to Darling International, a rendering plant less than a mile from downtown.

Back in 2004, after violating the cities odor control ordinance the plant installed odor blocking technology to help control the smell.

“They continue to comply with that odor ordinance, but remember this was never intended to capture all odors it was really intended to use the best technology available to control to the most reasonable extent possible,” says Phillip Delafield, Director of Community Development.

That smell, also caused local businesses to take notice, including Splash Seafood Bar and Grill, who said they started to notice the increased smell during one of their busiest times, Restaurant Week.

“It tends to bring a lot of people who aren’t normally our customers, people who normally don’t come downtown to downtown from outlying areas or the suburbs and to have us put our best foot forward and to have that odor outside, it’s really a shame,” says General Manager Mike Holmes.

The city says certain factors have allowed the smell to travel near downtown, but they say plant continues to invest in technology to keep the smell under control.

However, those who are in the food business say, once the dinner rush hits, the smell tends to increase and they just hope it won’t be affecting their bottom line.

“Who knows what they’re thinking when they’re walking by outside I don’t want my restaurant accused of making this smell because it’s definitely not us,” says Holmes.

The city does have a 24 hour Odor Hotline, where residents can voice their concerns on a smell that is bothering them.

If the city receives more than ten calls within six hours on the same odor they will send an inspector to investigate.

Businesses can receive three strikes before they are asked to install odor control equipment at their facility.

You can reach the hotline by calling 515-244-0336

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