City officials say they’re working to smooth the transition of a new garbage collector as some annoyed residents complain about Saturday trash pickups and missed service two weeks into the switch.
AmeriWaste League City, a subsidiary of Alvin-based AmeriWaste Inc., on May 1 began its five-year solid waste collection contract with the city. The city council approved the contract in December.
Since May 1, residents have reported slow routes or skipped routes. AmeriWaste didn’t completely empty some cans, residents said. Many residents still lack recycling bins.
League City officials they are working to control rumors and to solve problems in pickups, officials said.
Overall, the transition to AmeriWaste from Republic is going well, City Manager John Baumgartner said.
“The company principals are on the ground every day,” Baumgartner said.
AmeriWaste is running 10 trash routes and three recycling routes every day but Sunday, Baumgartner said. That’s 13 trucks on the road each day AmeriWaste is picking up trash.
The Saturday pickups have been so unpopular that city council members, bombarded by complaints from residents, have asked Baumgartner to find out how much it would cost to rework the routes without Saturday service. The complaints ranged from cans left out all weekend to a safety hazard for children at home, council members said.
The city still is collecting the data, Baumgartner said. To change the route schedule could mean another five trucks operating Monday through Friday, he said.
The city had no significant issues with any AmeriWaste trucks being out of service or unable to operate that affected or delayed trash pickup during the second week of May, city spokeswoman Sarah Greer Osborne said.
An AmeriWaste employee received a minor cut during the first day of pickup service and the truck made a brief stop to get a bandage, but the incident did not slow down or otherwise affect service to residents, Osborne said.
AmeriWaste was unable to provide trash pickup service in several gated communities during its first week because the gate codes the truck drivers used were out of date or incorrect, Osborne said. Correct codes have been issued and the problem resolved, she said.
City employees and AmeriWaste employees took calls from customers who have missed trash pick-up service because they placed their trash at the curb past 7 a.m., city officials said.
“Over time, we expect AmeriWaste to develop a routine with customers where in that they become aware of their regular pick-up time on their scheduled days,” Assistant City Manager Bo Bass said. “Until then, we are asking that residents place their trash out by 7 a.m. because trash service is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”
City staff also learned that some customers had placed heavy trash in the recycling carts, Osborne said. AmeriWaste will not pick up trash placed in a recycling cart, she said.
The demand from residents for AmeriWaste 36-gallon recycle carts is much higher than the number of residents who were using the blue recycle bins from Republic, city officials said. The city is asking residents to be patient as the list is already long, Osborne said.
In the meantime, residents can recycle in a clear plastic bag until they have carts, she said.