TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) – Residents in Trumann told Region 8 News they were upset with the service provided by Delta Environmental, which has a contract with the city of Trumann to pick up solid waste. According to the contract, entered May 16th, 2002, the city will collect all sanitation removal fees from residents in Trumann and pay the company. The contract gives B&B Disposal, which is now Delta Environmental, "exclusive rights to all residential, commercial and rolloff accounts inside the City limits."
"We have several individuals who call that, within the last year, actually within longer than that, and state that their lid is messed up on their can or the wheels are broken," said Mayor Sheila Walters.
Walters provided Region 8 News with hundreds of fax messages between herself and Delta Environmental. Many of the messages regard residents upset with trash pickup service and broken trash cans.
"We repeatedly called Delta Environmental and asked them to make the repair. We call or fax to them. We've started faxing over the last year," said Walters. "Within the last two to three weeks, we've had a serious problem with people being missed. I've had people call from at least ten streets that said their street doesn't get picked up timely."
Walters said the city has counted 255 residential complaints since January 1, 2011. She said 107 commercial businesses also reported issues.
"I got called on Monday morning that there were two streets that I know of that did not get picked up at all last week," said Walters.
Region 8 News contacted Bob Cordrick, Senior Vice President of Delta Environmental, via telephone Wednesday afternoon. He claimed his company has picked up trash on schedule multiple times over the last year. He said other claims his company didn't pick up trash on time are "totally untrue."
Cordrick said over the last week, one truck was in the shop for repairs, which made it difficult to pick up all customers' trash on time. He said drivers worked Monday through Friday to pick up the trash.
He said the city was clean as of 6:15 Tuesday night, and drivers doubled back on routes to ensure all garbage was picked up.
Cordrick said employees "try to keep it clean." He said every residential customer receives a 96 gallon can. He said some bags around the can are picked up as well. During the conversation with Region 8 News, he mentioned the time of day some customers put out their trash. He said if customers have taken the can out after 10:00 in the morning, sometimes drivers have already run their routes.
He recommends residents put out their trash cans the night before scheduled pickup.
"I called and consistently had problems. Their answer to me has always been, we got trucks in the shop, we're short on manpower today, somebody was terminated," said Walters. "When we have our council meetings, I usually ask from the Ward's representation on the calls they've had and many times it's trash related."
Residents on 2nd Street discussed the service with Region 8 News Wednesday. Mark Clairday said he's been working to clean up his home before family and friends get home. He moved to Trumann a month ago. He said he's been painting and doing major construction work.
"It was kind of disappointing. It's not the city, I know. It's the service that's contracted by the city. It kind of gave me a bad impression for that company," said Clairday, who took a picture of his residential trash and shared it with Region 8 News.
Clairday said he's taken some construction material to the city dump, but his other trash was out for more than a week.
"I had to tell her about our trash service. I've been here a month, (and I've) got service once. I talked to her one time and since they picked it up yesterday now, I've had service for two times, two pickups," said Clairday. "We have about 30 family members that's going to be here through tomorrow evening, and that's going to accumulate a lot of trash."
Cordrick said the contract with the city is not for construction disposal. Residents with construction/demolition materials should dispose of their materials through other services. He said some residential areas have big screen televisions and other furniture on the curb.
"We counted from January 1st to date, we had 255 residential complaints and we had 107 commercial complaints," said Walters. "A lot of these are repeat problems. You may call me one week and say my can got missed and then call me back two weeks later and say they still missed my can. Or I've got a can that's been broken that has not been repaired."
Jerry Turner, who also lives on 2nd Street, said his trash is supposed to be picked up Tuesday mornings. He said he took his garbage out last Monday night, but his home was missed.
"It's annoying and aggravating, plus being unsanitary," said Turner. "We're paying for a service when they didn't pick up. We're paying for a service that we didn't get."
"I've noticed the trash cans up and down the street, not only here, but up some of the other streets in this neighborhood," said Turner. "This is a problem because you have flies and we have had flies even here at our house."
Cordrick said residents who have concerns about the service Delta Environmental provides are urged to call (870)238-3260.