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Upscale apartment owners are fuming over plans for a new trash compactor 

Residents of the Fountainside building are opposed to the location of the trash compactor, arguing that its location will be hazardous
  • The Municipal Affairs Bureau says it intends to meet with neighbourhood representatives and collect feedback

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PUBLISHED

Residents of the swanky Fountainside apartment building on Rua de Penha have expressed their discontent over a plan to replace the garbage bins at their apartment building with a garbage compactor, citing various safety concerns. 

In an email to the Municipal Affairs Bureau (also known by its Portuguese initials IAM) that was sighted by Macao News, an apartment owner wrote that she only found out about the proposal on 12 June. 

“The big garbage compactor station will be next to [a] LPG chamber and this will be a serious fire hazard to our building,” the email said. In addition, the compactor “will be on a slope, so it will be a high risk to people and cars.”

Other residents in the neighbourhood who were interviewed by local media, also voiced their objections to the project, stating that they were unaware that it was due to take place until they were informed of the rerouting of traffic in preparation for the garbage compactor’s installation. 

“We are extremely disappointed,” said one resident who spoke to TDM. “If you’re going to launch a project like this in front of our building, you should at least contact the director of the management organisation or even leave a note or contact the administrative office here, so that we all know about this.” 

[See more: Floating refuse swamps Macao’s beaches]

Regarding the fire hazard that the garbage compactor poses, a resident with the surname Huang said to TDM that the centralised LPG chamber gas pipes are connected to each of the households, meaning that a fire in the trash compactor could spread. 

Lawmaker Ron Lam was in support of the residents, asking the government to provide an explanation for the choice of location and to reach a consensus with residents before proceeding with the plan. 

The IAM released a statement last Saturday promising to consult with residents and collect more information and feedback. The bureau pointed out that the decision to introduce the garbage compactor was made in order to improve the sanitation in the area, where standard municipal bins have been in use for over 20 years. It noted that the volume of rubbish that was disposed of in the bins had doubled and that rubbish was still overflowing, even though collections were now made twice a day. 

According to the IAM, one compactor is equivalent to 30 traditional blue bins, allowing for “a significant increase in the amount of rubbish collected.” It is also considered to be more sanitary and minimises issues relating to waste water, pests and odour. 

The installation of the compactor was originally scheduled between 25 June and 3 August. 

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