Bridgeton, MO (KSDK) - Work is set to begin Monday on the Bridgeton landfill and that means that the voluntary move for many in the area has already started.
Republic Services says the early stages of the work will actually make the smell worse for a couple of weeks. That's why the company will pay for people who live within a mile of the landfill to stay in a hotel.
Republic says they are first removing six concrete columns before work on the plastic cap can begin, we are told when the soil is moved the stink will move with it.
That smell is expected to last about two weeks.
"It's very stressful, very stressful for me I haven't been able to sleep much," says resident Judy Wright.
It's a constant battle for those living around the Bridgeton landfill and with the work starting this week and the smell about to get worse some residents are leaving their homes.
"They are saying that it will be worse on the little kids than on the adults even," says Robin Woerheide a resident living near the landfill.
In an agreement between Republic Services and Attorney General Chris Koster, Republic is giving residents the opportunity to escape the smell and stay in hotels. So, Wordehiede and her family are moving out and going to a hotel in Chesterfield.
She says she is thankful for a break, but not for the commute.
"They are only compensating us for the rooms they are not compensating us for drive time or anything like that," says Woerheide.
Some say there's another problem - keeping the neighborhood safe when some of the residents leave.
"It's all over the news and everybody knows that the subdivision is going to be half empty," says Wright.
Bridgeton police are said to be increasing their patrols around the landfill, but there's still fear that too many vacant homes will be seen as a target.
"Even for the people who stay if the houses around them don't have anybody in it, then it's an open invitation," says another resident Bob Nowlin.
Those temporarily relocating say they have faith their neighbors will sleep with one eye open, keeping watch on their normally peaceful neighborhood.
"I've lived here a long time, I love the neighborhood, I love the neighbors, but I don't like the smell," says Wright.