City of Springfield looks to fix garbage pick-up problem

Published: May. 19, 2016 at 5:30 PM CDT
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About two years ago the city of Springfield hired Waste Pro to pick up resident's trash and garbage.

City officials said after several months of excuses from Waste Pro and trash being left on the curb, the city has found themselves in a position that really stinks for the community. As a result they've been in an ongoing battle with Waste Pro.

The waste management company is paid for by taxpayers and is supposed to pick up trash from every household, but officials said that hasn't been happening.

Lee French, Director of Public Works for the City of Springfield said, "They have given us more excuses, it's this excuse, or that excuse."

As the trash issue continues to pile up so have complaints from citizens.

"They're angry," said French. "And they have the right to be angry, we provide a service and they need that service."

Currently, the city is paying Waste Pro about $60,000 a month.

City officials said they don't want to waste any more money, so they're looking into the possibility of taking on the project themselves.

If they move forward with taking on the project they'd have to buy equipment and hire workers which would cost roughly $1.3 million.

That's money city officials said they don't have but they'd take a loan.

"If we can't get it together and get the trash picked up we will eventually have to go back into business," said French. "It's something that we didn't want to do this year, but it's something we are looking at, and if we have to we will."

French said since the issue has become bigger, Waste Pro has brought in a new manager.

"We met with him Tuesday," said French. "He put a new plan together and they're actually out there getting up the trash now as we speak."

The city of Springfield's contract is up with Waste Pro come November. Whether they'll re-sign with them is still up in the air.

"I hope it does work out with Waste Pro," said French.

French said the new manager the company has brought on is doing all he can to fix the mess.

"If they're not at your house right on time like they usually are that's because they are doing their job," said French, "And they're getting the trash up as they are."

Waste Pro Garbage truck drivers said they'll do their best to get the city in tip top shape, and they'd appreciate it if the community would fill their garbage bins to the very top, so too much excess trash isn't left on the ground.

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