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Republic Services suffers more backlash in Central as neighbors complain about trash pickup

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:32 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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CENTRAL, La. (WAFB) - Republic Services, which is known for picking up most of the trash around the Capital Region, is taking more heat for slow service.

The company says it has been battling uncharted territory with COVID and a hurricane. However, customers say they want results.

“Every time they don’t come, I call them,” said Mary Hension, who lives in Central’s Bellingrath Hills. “The lady said today, ‘Oh, Mrs. Mary, they didn’t pick your garbage up again?’”

She added 311 should know her name and address by heart considering she has to call all the time just to get her garbage picked up.

“If they can’t pick up, send us an email, send us a text, something and tell us that they will be there that week,” pleaded Hension.

She is not the only one having problems with getting her trash can picked up. At one point, she and other neighbors had to drag their bins to a dumpster just to get the trash out of their yards.

“We have watched them many times pick up right down the street from us, go right past us, and then stop at the next garbage can at the intersection of Morgan and Thibodeaux,” said Donna LeSage.

She added Republic Services only seems to be picking up certain parts of the city and sometimes, the garbage truck is only passing once a week for them, when they are paying for it to get collected twice a week.

“We have had an average of 50% or less pickup and we’ve had this since we had Republic. They go through a spell where if somebody complains enough and gets enough attention, then they decide to do their job for a brief period of time,” explained LeSage.

Minutes after the interview with LeSage was finished, a worker from Republic Services pulled up to her home, apologized for the delays, and added they will be on top of their garbage from now on.

Republic Services said there are good and legitimate reasons it has missed collection in areas it serves, including a shortage of drivers due to COVID and it added what is a 25% increase in the amount of trash due to more people being at home lately. Officials said there is also a backup at the landfill due to all of the storm debris, meaning it’s taking drivers longer to dump their loads and get back on the road.

Other reasons include the following:

• 2 Hurricanes last year

• Ice storm this year

• Flooding this year, it has rained every single day

• 10 of our employees affected by Covid. Have had 2 in the hospital

• Across the country other companies have stopped services along with currently New Orleans going to once a week service.

• Contractors are still a challenge

  • Tree services

• Lawn services specifically bags

• Contractors performing home repairs

• Flood debris

• Landlord debris

• We are adding additional equipment to compensate for the continuing increase in volume at the curb.

• Overstaffing to ensure we have enough drivers to take on the additional volume

• We have brought in additional equipment to add routes to try to deal with the additional volumes due to the Pandemic

The councilman for the area, Aaron Moak, said the city-parish contract with Republic is up next year and that’s why he’s keeping a close eye on the company’s issues.

“When it comes to rewriting this contract is to take the good parts and enhance them,” said Moak. “Make sure that we have authority of correction. I guess is what I want to say - where if there is going to be deficiencies, we are able to handle those better on the fly.”

Trash pickup is still a current issue in other parts of Louisiana. Republic Services said it is only picking up trash once a week in New Orleans.

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