FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – Mayor Tom Henry has announced a new initiative designed to improve garbage and recycling collection services in the City of Fort Wayne.
Beginning next Monday, July 1, Street Department employees will work on their off-hours to collect missed trash pick-ups that exceed 24 hours from the time the miss was reported.
Under contract, Red River Waste Solutions has 24 hours after a miss is reported to go back and collect it before the City considers it a “missed pickup.” For example, if a resident’s garbage is supposed to be collected on Monday, Red River has until the end of the day Tuesday to collect the materials. If they aren’t collected in that time, the City’s plan will go into effect, and Street Department employees will be sent to collect the materials.
Compensation for these employees, and equipment used to collect materials, will be paid for by fines the City collects from Red River. The trash contractor has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars since it began its contact with the City in January of last year.
Red River currently makes 120,000 collections each week. For the past several months, the company has missed between 1-2% of households each week.
The new initiative was created in an effort to continue working with the company and avoid cancelling the current contract, which City leaders say would probably result in the following:
- Lengthy collection days (4-6 weeks).
- A possible lawsuit.
- The need to re-bid the contract, which would take a number of months to process and implement, likely leading to higher collection fees for customers.
Following Mayor Henry’s announcement, Councilman Russ Jehl released the following statement:
“I am grateful the Mayor has taken the clothespin off his nose. The garbage issue cannot be fixed without his engagement.”
Councilman Geoff Paddock said the following:
“As this is implemented, I believe much of the frustration caused by our current garbage and recycling service, will be eliminated… I believe using city employees and equipment for picking up what Red River misses, and then charging the company, is appropriate. Citizens need for us to solve this problem and have the current contracted hauler, Red River, pay for it.”