MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) – Trash piled up on the side of roads is becoming a common site in cities across the Birmingham metro area. The city of Mountain Brook is taking action to avoid a possible public health emergency in the community.
The city’s public works department is picking up the slack for missed pickups.
City Manager Sam Gaston said things have not improved since suspending recycling service with Waste Management earlier this week. The move was meant to free up another garbage truck, but Gaston said two drivers could not drive Wednesday so it didn’t help.
“At the present time, Waste Management seems to be running two and a half days behind on the garbage service,” Gaston said.
Gaston said having public works step in is taking away resources from other parts of the city.
“They’ve got other things they’ve been neglecting because of having to pick up the load of Waste Management,” he said.
Sarah Weaver and her kids waved to the public works department after they picked up the family’s trash.
“We haven’t had one delay in a year and a half besides recently,” Weaver said. “It’s extremely inspiring to see them helping out Waste Management with the delays. I’m extremely grateful for them using their time after hours in helping us get our trash picked up.”
This is a service Gaston plans to have slowly phase out as he is hopeful Waste Management will be back on track next week.
Waste Management shared the following updated statement to CBS 42 on Wednesday: “At this time, we are continuing to work with Mountain Brook officials to implement plans discussed earlier this week. The safety of both the community and our employees is of utmost importance. We have implemented additional safety protocols due to the current pandemic. WM is committed to providing excellent customer service in a safe manner for the communities we serve.”
Gaston said Waste Management has hired a new residential supervisor who is familiar with the area.
“Now we hope that experienced route manager being brought back to Mountain Brook who knows our community, knows our streets, then things will improve,” Gaston said.
Mountain Brook can charge Waste Management $100 for every home that is considered missed or late for trash pickup. Gaston said in the last three months, the city has fined Waste Management $80,000 for missing pickups, which turns into credit for the next bill.
Pelham decided to terminate its agreement with Waste Management 14 months early – due to missed pickups and is working now to determine the next provider who will take over at the start of 2022.