BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A spokesperson for Republic Services, a trash pick-up service that has been under fire recently for leaving trash and debris roadside for up to 120 days in some cases, is denying an employee’s claim that the company has not addressed issues that could help drivers complete their routes.
An employee spoke anonymously to WAFB and sent pictures and videos of their truck stalling and being towed multiple days in a row.
“I don’t know what their focus is on, but it’s not us and helping the community. I’ve been on several different trucks. Sometimes the truck will stop three and four times in that period from us leaving the yard to us heading to the route. Last week, like the truck stopped four times. We’re were in the middle of Burbank, four times, and I mean, that’s just unacceptable,” said the employee.
“It should be no reason that you send us back out in broken equipment. How can we perform our duties if we don’t have the proper equipment to do it?” the employee asked.
Another issue the employee brought up is broken fuel pumps. The employee says they often must wait over an hour to use a single working pump, which puts them behind on their routes. Often, they have to fuel their trucks at a separate service station, according to the employee.
“That is a billion dollar company. We should not have to do that. Do the right thing, take the money that they give you, put it into the company, put it into the trucks, put it into us," said the employee.
The employee says their goal is not to bash the company, but rather to shed light on some issues before it’s too late.
“Honestly, it’s very stressful because I don’t know what’s going to happen, because it’s been in the news for a good bit. I don’t know if we’re going to lose the contract, if we’re going to have a job. It’s just scary because you really don’t know what’s going to happen, and it’s like they’re playing and risking everybody’s life,” said the employee.
Republic Services responded Tuesday evening, saying the assertions are “simply not true.”
“We’ve already added 6 new trucks in 2019. We have trained mechanics who are actively implementing our robust maintenance program. And everything we do is for our customers - we always welcome questions or feedback from customers,” said Stephen Carville, municipal services manager.
After weeks of hearing complaints that Republic Services hasn’t been picking up and disposing of trash, leaving waste and debris curbside for people in the parish, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is releasing an action plan for improvements.
Mayor Broome and officials from Republic Services have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday, June 19 at 10 a.m. to detail that plan.