Red River fines lower than outlined in city contract

Red River has been fined $710,300 for failing to collect everyone's trash on time between April and September.

Posted: Dec. 4, 2018 10:41 PM
Updated: Dec. 4, 2018 10:49 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - One month after many people in Fort Wayne received new trash days, service has improved but city leaders say more still needs to be done.

Red River has been fined $710,300 for failing to collect everyone's trash on time between April and September.

It turns out fines issued to red river are actually about 20 percent lower than what is outlined in the 35 page contract.

That has council members fired up, but people in the city just want their trash picked up because they don't think the new routes are working.

"For the past month they've haven't come on the day on the day they are supposed to," said Jody Ellenwood who lives in the Ludwig Park neighborhood.

"They still can't pick up our garbage on time. They will be a day late over here. Every week since they started," said Christine Summers, also in the Ludwig Park addition.

That neighborhood is one that didn't see a new trash collection day.

Ellenwood said for the last couple weeks, the Red River would pick it up on Wednesday, but it was picked up late Tuesday this week.

Everyone who's trash is missed is encouraged to call 3-1-1 to report it.

The contract between the city and Red River outlines the company is allowed to miss about 83 homes a week before fines are issued.

Matt Gratz, director of Solid Waste, said in November, Red River missed an average of 657 customers a week, which is down significantly from October.

However, the formula spelled out in the contract hasn't been followed.

"All along the administration has been making its own lower fine system for the benefit of Red River," said councilman Russ Jehl (R).

"I'm really disappointed the city has chosen not to fully fine based on the misses that are reported," said councilman Glynn Hines (D).

City spokesman John Perlich said the formula the city is using is the same one used in the past for Republic Services.

"It's going to be a continuation and evaluation of where we are with that. We want to see Red River continue to improve so we don't have to assess fines," said Perlich.

Republic Services was fined $96,700 for all of 2017.

Red River was fined $710,300 for only 6 months of 2018.

Earlier this year Red River told FOX 55 they can't continue to afford the fines issued in Fort Wayne and the fines have gone up.

"I really hope the mayor and the administration reconsiders giving Red River a pass," said Jehl.

Mayor Tom Henry's working committee is still exploring refunds for customers. It said it will give Red River another month to show improvements with the new routes.

It also said a refund won't make any improvements.

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