City officials, fearful that the smells emanating from downtown alleys is hampering the area's economic resurgence, have launched an assault on stench. "People are walking downtown and holding their noses," said David Semenza, Las Vegas' neighborhood response manager. "What good is redevelopment when you have this stench?"

The stinky problems involve everything from rotting food to people relieving themselves wherever they please.

Since April, crews from the city's Rapid Response Team have spent thousands of dollars a week clearing out debris from alleys and spraying them with an odor-eating, enzyme-producing bacteria.

The enzyme, which the maker claims is nontoxic and biodegradable, has an odor akin to laundry detergent, some say. Others, like Deputy City Manager Betsy Fretwell, whose nose the city relied on in choosing among several deodorizers in tests, describe it as antiseptic.

The deodorizing of downtown is scheduled to end July 1.


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