Environmental workers taking samples from water
Illegal dumping damages the environment and takes a toll on peoples health

Residents in Agrado de Peñuelas are facing a common problem – abuse of the sewage system to dump industrial waste that should be disposed safely and according to regulations. By dumping their waste at night those responsible have avoided detection so far, despite the regular testing done by the local sewage treatment plant. However, the effects of the illegal dumping are very real for those that have to live with it. Local residents are having difficulty sleeping at night and are suffering from physical discomfort and allergies among others. It is time for all to recognize that bad odours are not just a nuisance, and particularly where exposure is prolonged and persistent, they can cause a variety of health issues in the local population.

This case is similar to one of the D-NOSES pilots in Portugal. In Porto, the Rio Tinto river has long suffered from illegal dumping. LIPOR, an association of local waste management organisations and D-NOSES partner, aims to use OdourCollect and people’s noses to track down the source of the waste. With real-time reports on smells and their location, it may be possible to build a more accurate picture of where and when waste is being put into the river. With that it might be possible to finally identify those responsible, and put an end to this flagrant and dangerous abuse.

Join D-NOSES in the application of Citizen Science to curb bad odours and their effects on communities by downloading the OdourCollect app for your mobile phone and start reporting odours today.

Would you like to know more about how D-NOSES can help tackle odour issues in your area? Read our Policy Brief.