MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Mountain Brook is temporarily suspending its recycling service after its provider failed to pick up trash and recyclables from hundreds of homes last week.
City Manager Sam Gaston said Waste Management trash and recycling service did not reach 164 streets last Wednesday through Friday. Because of this, the Monday route was delayed as crews continue to play catchup.
“We’ve had our stuff out there for a week,” resident Richard Goldstein said. “It’s just been piling up this past two weeks.”
Goldstein said he has been waiting for his recycling to get picked up, saying he has never had this issue before.
“I’m just going to truck it back to the house and bag it up, treat it as garbage, which is a shame, but that’s what it is,” Goldstein said.
Gaston said the issue is a combination of new Waste Management employees, COVID-19 issues, and labor shortages.
“We’re probably running at least two days behind on recycling and garbage service in Mountain Brook,” he said. “It’s really a public health issue to have your garbage taken and removed as soon as possible.”
On Monday, the city council voted to suspend the city’s recycling service in order to free up another truck to pick up garbage. Gaston said there are typically four garbage trucks and one recycling truck each day. Having the extra truck used for trash could help to pick up 20 to 25% more waste.
“We’ve been with Waste Management for 26 years and besides an occasional hiccup, we’ve always had very good service from Waste Management,” Gaston said. “Unfortunately, the last four to five months have been terrible.”
This issue is something the city wants to resolve quickly.
“I hope that it brings things out to an even keel so things can resume back to normal,” Goldstein said.
In a statement, Waste Management said: “WM is committed to excellent customer service. We are working closely with Mountain Brook city officials on a solution for the recent concerns around service.”
Gaston said public works rented a garbage truck and had three employees work on Saturday to serve 300 homes, but they are behind and will continue to update the community on social media to know when their garbage is slated next to be picked up.