Only 3 months into its new trash collection contract with Waste Management (WM), so many problems have developed that the borough is considering canceling its contract.
“I feel very comfortable we can prove they have not been responsive and responsible to our residents’ needs,” said Borough Council President Wesley Heyser.
Heyser said in addition to big problems such as the failure to deliver large-scale trash compactors to deal with street trash created on Steinwehr Ave. and Lincoln Square, there was also a “laundry list of residential problems” where WM had not fulfilled its contract.
Council member Chad-Alan-Carr said WM had been given many opportunities to fix the problems but had not. “We’ve given them very specific instructions: ‘This is what you are not doing. This is the evidence you’re not doing it. Please do it.’ And they still failed. I have heard too many of our residents complain.”
Heyser said WM had failed to collect street trash. “By contract the street cans are to be emptied on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” he said. Heyser said he had seen on Saturday mornings that the waste cans around the square were still full.
“There has been a massive amount of private citizen failures,” said Heyser. “We still have people where they aren’t taking their recycling. Everyone who has residential service is doing their part. They’re paying their bill; they’re putting their waste out; but WM isn’t doing their job.”
Heyser said that unless things changed quickly the borough would terminate the contract. He was unsure if the borough would have to rebid the contract or if it could take the second-ranked bid.
“The easiest resolution would be for WM to do what they are supposed to do. But they’re not taking adequate steps to fix things,” he said.
Heyser said there was a probability the borough would be sued if they broke the contract, but that he was willing to take the risk. “This is so critical to the basic operation of the community. It’s something worth going to the mat for – that people get the services they pay for.”