A stinky problem in South Everett has neighbors fuming

SOUTH EVERETT -- It's something you don't expect to see behind businesses in your neighborhood.

"Trash being left to pile up and being picked through by rodents and birds and we're frankly tired of it,” neighbor DeAnna Britt said.

Behind this small strip mall, at Evergreen Way and west Marilyn, where you'd usually expect to see a dumpster, there is nothing but trash bags -- dozens of them, piled up, leaking, and neighbors say at times the smell can be overwhelming.

"Folks are probably pretty glad they can't smell it through the camera. Even in the cold I can smell the stench. It's filthy,” Britt said.

Even worse, Britt says, there are rats.

"I have not seen the rats directly. I see evidence of them and I do have cats that have killed rats in my yard and I do hear rats under my house,” Britt said.

Britt has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years and says she has dealt with the same problem before.

In 2012 Code Enforcement cited the owners for the same violation.

They were ordered to clean up and erect a small fence.

Because of the previous violation, code enforcement came out Thursday and wrote the owners another citation and, because there is a restaurant, the Snohomish County Health District is involved as well.

They plan to have crews on site first thing Friday morning.

"We'll be sending a solid waste inspector and a food safety inspector tomorrow and they'll need to assess the situation and see what issues might be in place and then we'll work with the property owners to see how we can resolve the situations,” Snohomish County Health District spokeswoman Heather Thomas said.

Britt says she would like local businesses to thrive, but she also wants them to follow the rules.

"South Everett can be a really nice community. We'd like to keep it that way,” Britt said.

Experts say if you find yourself dealing with the same kind of problem, you should do what DeAnna Britt did -- call you local Code Enforcement Office and, if necessary, call your county Health Department as well.