(KMOV.com) -- Many residents living near the Bridgeton landfill have relocated to nearby hotels while work is done to reduce the odor. Still, others said they would remain in their homes for fear of theft.
Republic Services offered residents in Spanish Village, the Terrisan Reste Mobile Home Community and a section of the Carrollton Village Condominiums two options: Stay in a hotel for free, or stay with friends and family and receive $125 per week. Some residents said leaving would invite criminals to prey on unoccupied homes.
"If they know you're gone, it's a field day -- they'll pick and choose to see whose car is there," said Darren Gurlen, a resident living near the landfill. "It's a field day to just sit and watch."
A spokesperson for Republic Services said security should not be an issue. Bridgeton police said officers will be keeping an extra watch on the three neighborhoods involved in the voluntary evacuation.
The plan, dubbed the Reinforced Concrete Pipe Abandonment Project, involves the excavation of small sections of the landfill to remove reinforced concrete pipe sections. Republic Services says all work should be completed by June 14.