Trash hauler vows improvements Quicker pickups among promises

January 14, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Waste Management Inc. officials have assured Carroll's mayors that they will resolve problems with the firm's trash and recycling service.

Since the firm began curbside service in some towns last fall, residents have complained about trash and recyclables being picked up late or not at all and about recyclables being thrown in with trash.

"We've noticed problems from the outset," said Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown, adding that town officials believe the complaints have not been adequately addressed.

Mayors from Westminster, Taneytown, Hampstead, Union Bridge and New Windsor met yesterday with Waste Management representatives at Westminster City Hall.

The towns signed a three-year contract with Haden Trash Removal Inc., subsequently purchased by Waste Management Inc., for collection of trash and recyclables beginning July 1, 1992.

Phil Auld, Waste Management's division president, attributed the late and missed pickups to inadequate equipment. He said the firm began using larger trucks last week for pickup of both recyclables and trash.

As a result, crews have to make fewer trips to dump their loads, he said. With the new trucks, crews finished work in Westminster by 4:30 p.m. Monday, nearly four hours earlier than the week before, Mr. Auld said.

"At this point, what we have done should solve the problem," he said.

He said the firm also underestimated the number of people who would recycle. About 75 percent to 80 percent of residents are recycling. Westminster, for instance, has reduced its trash by 25 percent.

Mayors also complained about the firm not picking up trash on days following holidays or inclement weather days when service has been canceled.

Mr. Auld promised that the firm will pick up recyclables and trash on days following bad weather days. He also said the firm would notify the towns when trucks won't be running their routes because of bad weather.

"We'll do our best to make sure it's picked up the next day," he said.

He said the firm will develop a schedule for pickup after holidays. Mayors urged the company to pick up the trash the following day, as previous haulers have done.

Mr. Auld said his employees throw contaminated recyclables, or recyclables not properly prepared for pickup, in the trash.

However, he said the firm will begin using stickers or notices to inform customers why their recyclables aren't being picked up.

Mayor Brown asked the firm to let town officials know how it will notify residents that recyclables are contaminated or unsuited for pickup.

Mayors and company officials agreed that more education about what is recyclable and how it should be prepared for pickup is needed.

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