Fort Wayne mayoral candidates begin trash talking, how to fix collection issues

Many residents have complained about trash collection since January 2018 when Red River Waste Solutions' contract began.

Posted: Jun 21, 2019 9:26 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2019 11:28 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne mayoral candidates are already talking trash.

Many residents have complained about trash collection since January 2018 when Red River Waste Solutions' contract began.

The company was fined more than $1.2 million for missed collections in 2018.

In November, the city worked with Red River and changed the routes. City leaders claim that has helped reduce the number of complaints.

However, people in the Williams Woodland area south of downtown are still experiencing issues.

"Sometimes it is the next day and sometimes it is not until the following week when trash collection happens again," said Brittney Pearson, who was most recently missed two weeks ago.

In the first quarter, the Fort Wayne Solid Waste department said Red River missed 4,996 customers.

That's why Republican nominee for mayor, Tim Smith, wants to hold Red River more accountable if he is elected.

"Eighteen months if far too long, it is far too patient with a service provider on as something as basic as trash," Smith said.

Smith said he would reassess the contract with Red River within the first week if he wins the election in November.

"In business when we see a contract is going south, we line up our successor venders to make sure our customers are still going to be given A+ service," Smith said.

However, Fort Wayne mayor Tom Henry said there isn't anything wrong with the contract.

In fact, he said it was the same contract used when Republic Service was collecting trash.

"The problem we are having is Red River is having a very difficult time retaining drivers with with CDLs," Henry said.Republic Service

Henry said since the trash routes changed in November, Red River is performing at the same level Republic Service was.

"They had been missing about one percent. So 99% of our city is being picked up," Henry said.

Many residents, like Pearson, just wants their trash picked up every week.

"There's no other service you pay for that's the case. When you pay for Amazon Prime, your things are delivered when they say they are going to be delivered," Pearson said.

If you are experiencing issues with your trash collection, contract 311.

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