You walk out of your house and it hits you. A foul smell that hangs in the air -- and you can't do much about it. Join the spike in complaints about how much some places stink in Metro Vancouver and other parts of B.C.

Almost half of the 245 complaints received in the region this year are linked to Harvest Power’s composting plant in Richmond, reported Metro Vancouver.

Depending on the wind direction and strength, residents in Richmond – as well as Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver – can notice a “nauseating” and “acrid” rotting smell, reported the Vancouver Sun.

Even Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie told the newspaper: “It’s certainly not constant, but it is periodic and quite noticeable.”

The stink from the facility near No. 9 Road and Highway 91 is likely because of an increase in quantity and change in composition of the food scraps being processed there, said Ray Robb, Metro Vancouver’s manager of environmental regulation and enforcement.

With more municipalities adding food waste to their composting programs, animal proteins make compost smellier than just yard waste.

Harvest Power is working to upgrade its biofilter, which can remove the majority of the smells, reported Metro Vancouver. The company has also been asked to enclose an outdoor area where compost is shaken and screened, said the newspaper.

Foul smells should be cut significantly when an anaerobic digestion facility ramps up. It turns organic waste into energy to power homes and should subsequently divert smells, says Harvest Power’s website.

Robb said the foul-smelling air is not generally a health threat.

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  • Central Saanich

    People living around <a href="http://www.timescolonist.com/life/Central+Saanich+compost+sales+pitch+gets+airing/7640145/story.html#ixzz2E1AI0sCb">Foundation Organics</a> regularly complain to council about odours from the facility. The only commercial composting plant in the region is licensed for 10,000 tonnes of organic material annually.

  • Dawson Creek

    Frequent complaints from area residents about sulphurous smells coming from the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/02/24/bc-encana-smokestack-emissions.html">Steeprock gas plant</a>, south of Dawson Creek, led to a discovery that the facility's smokestack was too short, reported CBC News.

  • Vancouver

    West Coast Reduction in East Vancouver recycles animal by-products from the meat, poultry and fish processing industries. It was the subject of many odour complaints in August 2012.

  • Vancouver

    West Coast Reduction, which produces bone meal and biodiesel from organic waste from slaughterhouses, was the subject of many odour complaints in August 2012. B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake, left, talks to West Coast Reduction president Barry Glotman and vice-chair Humphrey Koch.

  • Langley

    A <a href="http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/168977636.html?c=y&curSection=/&curTitle=BC+News&bc09=true">rancid smell</a> that prompted 200 calls to Surrey authorities and complaints across Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge was traced to a farm where manure was sprayed, reported the Maple Ridge News.

  • Kelowna

    The <a href="http://www.chbcnews.ca/stinky+problem+in+west+kelowna/6442754040/story.html">Kelowna wastewater treatment facility</a> pumps out the smell of sewage almost daily, says a resident, forcing him to keep a "stinky diary."

  • Richmond

    Harvest Power's composting facility creates odours because of the organic matter it's processing. It is working to upgrade its smell-reducing solutions.

  • Kelowna

    The <a href="http://www.chbcnews.ca/stinky+problem+in+west+kelowna/6442754040/story.html">Kelowna wastewater treatment facility</a> pumps out the smell of sewage almost daily, says a resident, forcing him to keep a "stinky diary."

  • Castlegar

    Residents complained about "near-vomit-inducing stenches" wafting from the <a href="http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/123951089.html?c=y&curSection=/greater_vancouver/burnabynewsleader&curTitle=BC+News&bc09=true">South Castlegar Treatment Centre</a> after upgrades in 2005.

  • Richmond

    Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore visited Harvest Power's composting facility, which is also known as Fraser Richmond Soil & Fibre, in 2010. The operation is the subject of dozens of odour complaints to Metro Vancouver.

  • Richmond

    Harvest Power's composting facility, processes most of Metro Vancouver's food scraps. It is working to upgrade its odour-reducing solutions.

  • Richmond

    Harvest Power's composting facility turns food scraps and yard waste into soil products. The operation is the subject of dozens of odour complaints to Metro Vancouver.

  • RIchmond

    Harvest Power's composting facility, processes most of Metro Vancouver's food scraps. It is working to upgrade its odour-reducing solutions.

  • Prince George

    Husky Energy's light oil refinery. A resident complained about the <a href="http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20120817/PRINCEGEORGE0303/308179991/-1/PRINCEGEORGE/inversion-stinks">city's smell during an inversion</a>.

  • Prince George

    Husky Energy's light oil refinery. A resident complained about the <a href="http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20120817/PRINCEGEORGE0303/308179991/-1/PRINCEGEORGE/inversion-stinks">city's smell during an inversion</a>.

  • Prince George

    A mill is seen in Prince George, B.C. Monday, Oct. 8, 2012. A resident complained about the <a href="http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20120817/PRINCEGEORGE0303/308179991/-1/PRINCEGEORGE/inversion-stinks">city's smell during an inversion</a>.

This August, a breakdown at a rendering plant called West Coast Reduction in East Vancouver drove a rush of complaints from nearby residents about “dead fish” smells.

East Van residents said offensive smells prevented them from sitting on their patios or opening their windows, reported CBC News.

The situation led to a draft bylaw that could charge offending companies in populated areas. Robb noted however that both the rights of the residents and the businesses need to be balanced.

Metro Vancouver is not the only area in B.C. that’s stinky. A wastewater treatment facility in West Kelowna pumps out the smell of sewage almost daily, leading one resident to keep a “stinky diary,” reported CHBC.

In Prince George where there are industrial operations like a pulp mill and refinery, stinky air led citizens to form a brigade in 2009 to test the air quality.

Are we missing any particularly smelly locations? Let us know in the comments below, Tweet us @HuffPostBC with #StinkyBC or post your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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