Dallas residents say the City has failed to pick up their trash over the holiday season, reportedly causing trash cans to overflow in the streets.
A trash collection schedule change implemented on December 5 was intended to improve collection route efficiency, but residents of De Maggio Avenue near Fair Park said Monday that the City did not collect trash on their street for the entire month of December.
“I don’t like it. I have complained, and I have complained,” resident Tamia Hall told NBC 5 DFW, adding that the City gave her many excuses for why trucks failed to arrive.
“‘We’ll be through the next time on Thursday,” Hall said City officials told her.
“‘We got short on workers. Our trucks are broken down. People have quit,'” she continued, listing the reasons given for the trash haulers’ absence.
“Ok, the second week, the third week, the fourth week. It’s now the fifth week,” Hall added.
Hall said that, after the collection schedule for her street shifted from Monday to Thursday, no trucks arrived for the whole month.
“Then, when I did call again, they said they’ll bring another grey trash can,” Hall reported. “We don’t need another grey trash can. We need our trash picked up.”
As of Tuesday, trash on De Maggio Avenue had reportedly not been picked up in 36 days.
Last month, Northwest Dallas resident Tom Bloodgood spoke with NBC 5 about problems with trash pickup.
“We’ve been here 26 years, and the sanitation [department] has been the best department that the City has,” he said on December 16. “Since they’ve made this move to make it more efficient, it’s been the absolute opposite.”
“I had a discussion with the 311 operator, and it took 31 minutes to get through,” Bloodgood continued.
When he finally spoke to her, and “she finally understood what the problem was,” he said, “she started complaining about all the calls she was getting as a net result of trash not getting picked up.”
Bloodgood explained, “We just want our trash picked up. That’s all we want.”
Bloodgood lives in Dallas’ District 13, represented by Councilmember Gay Donnell Willis. Both Willis and Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn (District 12) said their offices received complaints about trash not being picked up.
“I think there are going to be some kinks that need to be worked out,” said Willis, “but my greater concern is some people are waiting 18 days, and that’s just crazy.”
The City’s Public Information Office (PIO) shared the following statement with The Dallas Express on Tuesday:
“We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers and appreciate their understanding as we work to improve the efficiency of our services going forward.
“Sanitation’s new recycle and garbage collection routes implemented on Monday, December 5, provide collection services over five days, Monday through Friday, rather than the previous four-day collection schedule — which will allow for more efficient use of City equipment, shorten the workday for Sanitation crews, and allow for maintenance on equipment to begin earlier each day, along with other environmental and economic benefits.”
The statement continued: “With the new routing, Sanitation crews now have approximately 100,000 points-of-service each day between recycle and garbage collections, 20,000 fewer than under the previous route model.”
Explaining what changes were being made to address the problem, the PIO added, “As Sanitation truck drivers are settling into their new routes, managers and supervisors are monitoring and making routing adjustments as needed to ensure timely service delivery going forward.
“Sanitation management is aware that container collection has been overlooked in some areas by drivers with limited familiarity of their new service areas, resulting in higher-than-normal complaints to 3-1-1. These oversights are being corrected.
“Additionally, Sanitation fleet availability continues to be an issue, as heavy equipment parts and labor for both the City and its outside vendors continues to be a challenge. Sanitation makes every effort to limit collection delays to recycling, and for no more than 24 hours.”
The list of encumbrances continued: “Unfortunately, limited equipment availability, high set-out volumes following the holidays, and the lingering impacts of the severe cold weather event on temporary staffing turnout compounded collection delays in some areas last week.”
Finally, the PIO asserted, “Sanitation reset yesterday morning, beginning all Monday routes on time.”