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Rhode Island Man Forced to Demolish His Maggoty, Rotting Clam Road

"It's like bodies decaying."

by Sarah Emerson
Jun 14 2017, 7:12pm


I've never been to Rhode Island, but a heap of rotting clam shells causing a domestic disturbance sounds like a distinctly Rhode Island problem.

In the first week of June, a Tiverton man "dumped thousands of unwashed clam shells on his property" to pave an access road. The overwhelming stench of dead mollusks was so foul, police and the state's Department of Environmental Management (DEM) were asked to investigate the source.

According to WJAR-TV, the property owner, David Rose, used shells that still had meat left on them. Normally, oyster and clam shells are a sustainable landscaping alternative. Instead of dumping them, you can actually recycle the shells for construction or environmental projects.

Screenshot: WJAR-TV
Screenshot: WJAR-TV

It's possible Rose had good intentions, but didn't think about the consequences of raw meat in blazing temperatures.

"Some parts still has the meat, so now it's decaying. It's like bodies decaying. So, you've got about a million bodies decaying," said neighbor Sharon Moore.

"Everything is sort of taken over by this stench of decaying," Blair Moore added.

Local residents circulated a petition, and after two weeks, Rose was served a cease-and-desist letter by Rhode Island's DEM. He now has one week to remove the shells, which are infested with maggots. This morning, WJAR-TV reported that Atlantic Cape Fisheries tractors, belonging to the company that originally dumped the shells, were digging up the fetid mess.

Poor newscaster, Lindsay Iadeluca, was live from the scene where tractor loaders were literally dripping with larvae. She pointed to her longsleeves and long pants—unusual summer attire—which she wore to defend herself from bug bites, due to the swarming mass of insects. Claps for Lindsay, everyone.

As for the shells, Rose has been ordered to drop them off at a licensed waste facility. No word yet on how long the air will take to clear.

Rhode Island
access road
a million bodies decaying