Delay in trash collection lessens but problems still continue for some

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It appears some of the trash troubles in parts of Fort Wayne are coming to an end. They started when Red River Waste Solutions took over trash pick-up duties at the beginning of the year. City officials and Red River representatives say the winter conditions and flu made for a rough start. The number of calls to the city is down but many still haven’t had their trashed picked up.

Some people are still frustrated. It’s safe to say Ron Franke’s patience is wearing thin. “I could maybe pick up the containers and haul them down the mayor’s office and let him watch them for awhile.”

He said ever since Red River took over for the city, he’s only seen one truck. “It’s been going on three weeks now.”

After finally getting picked up Wednesday, he was still shaking his head wondering what took so long. He said he’s called 311 more than once. “You can only do that so often and I mean your’e just beating your head against the door.”

The contract started on January 2nd which was bad timing with freezing temperatures. “We had some problems with equipment. We had problems with drivers being able to negotiate slippery, icy streets and also we got hit by a very severe flu epidemic as well,” Public Works Director, Shan Gunawardena, said.

A couple weeks ago, two days of the week the city had over 300 calls for missed pick-ups. That’s now down to about 100.

A representative with Red River NewsChannel 15 it wasn’t an ideal start with the holiday and the bad weather delaying schedules, plus new drivers in a new contract, but he said things are getting back on track. “I appreciate everybody’s time and patience and we will get you picked up. We’re excited about the job we’re doing and look forward to being there for a long time,” Steve Smith said.

As for Ron Franke, he said he’ll just wait and see. “It’s ridiculous that you take your stuff out, you sit it out, you get it ready. You go over and you think that it’s empty and it’s still full. I just think we’re paying for a service we’re not getting.”

If your collection is missed, call 311. City officials advise you not to take your bins inside. Some times have changed so if it didn’t get picked up in the morning, you may want to wait until the evening.