BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Birmingham is in phase two of its new trash pickup roll-out with the second round of houses supposed to have had their pickup beginning May 1. Some people in the city say they’re still waiting for their trash to be collected by the new trucks.

Some people living along Ishkooda Road SW and Dowell Court SW are dealing with trash piled up almost overflowing onto the street but in a letter from the city when the new carts were rolled out, they were told anything sitting on the ground won’t be picked up by crews.

“Very frustrated, that’s why I make phone calls. Phone calls, emails, I don’t know what else I can do,” Kirk Wilson said, who lives on Ishkooda Rd.

Wilson says it’s been almost two weeks since his garbage has been collected. He says he watches the old garbage trucks drive by every week collecting trash from just one street over from his neighbors who haven’t been part of the new cart rollout yet.

“I’m sure if it were in the city, the center city, and they weren’t picking up garbage, it would’ve been done instantly. But we’re out on the far edges of it and we get forgotten out here, which is not right,” Wilson said. “Everybody pays the same taxes.”

Alinda Taylor has also been waiting since May 1 for her trash to be picked up. She and many of her neighbors’ cans who live on Dowell Court are practically overflowing.

“I could get it on a truck and then go dump it in front of city hall, would that I mean maybe that would work and maybe it will get picked up from right there,” Taylor said. “This doesn’t make any sense. I need this garbage picked up.”

Taylor and Wilson say they’re worried if the trash continues to pile up and overflow out of the can that it will attract animals and make the mess bigger. They ask only one thing from the city.

“Come get it. You know I don’t want nothing else, I just want them to come get the trash like they’re supposed to,” says Wilson.

“If they’re not going to do the garbage cans like they said, let us go back to the old way like we already had it,” says Taylor.

Both Taylor and Wilson say their calls to 311 and the city haven’t helped. They say the only response they’ve received is that a truck would be by the next day to pick up the trash but garbage continues to pile up.

Josh Yates, director of Birmingham Public Works, released a statement saying:

“The City has initiated Phase 2 of a uniform cart program for single-family residential households. This program provides a 96-gallon cart for residents to put their garbage in for collection once a week, free of charge. For decades, we have manually lifted garbage off our streets and we’re now changing to a more efficient and effective system.

The Pilot Program and Phase 1 added 24,000 households across the City that have been operating since 2022. The most recent phase, initiated May 1, added an additional 20,000 households. The final phase will be distributed and launched in the Fall.

While we will always have some unexpected errors or challenges, we have responded to the calls and every SeeClickFix and/or 311 claim entered into the system. The complaints are less than 1% of the number of carts that have been rolled out. With any new system introduced, there will always be some additional guidance. We encourage people to refer to and review the FAQ and How To video provided. We will investigate the challenges in the Ishkooda Rd SW and Dowell Ct SW areas. We thank everyone for their cooperation and patience as we modernize Birmingham’s household garbage curbside service.”

Josh Yates, director of Birmingham Public Works