Mitch Melvin says he is at his wits end.
“It is simply unconscionable that this has been allowed to go on for eight and a half months and still there is no resolution to the problem,” said Melvin.
For the last year, Melvin says the city’s trash collector, Red River Waste Solutions, has missed his trash. Sometimes it’s for one or two days. Now it’s been two weeks.
“I’m at a point now to where myself, and my children simply have a little game going, which is called ‘guess which garbage day,” said Melvin. “It’s supposed to be on Friday, but it could be Saturday, or next Tuesday or whenever, nobody actually knows.”
On Sunday, Melvin became so frustrated he left his trash outside of Citizens Square to send a message. He wants the city to take action now.
“There’s absolutely no reason to pay for a service that is not being provided,” he said.
Red River has faced heavy criticism since taking over as the city’s trash collector at the beginning of the year. More than 20,000 complaints have been made for missed pickups. The company has also been fined and questions of breach of contract have come up.
Red River has apologized. Last week, the company took a full page ad on the Journal Gazett promising to do better.
“An ad doesn’t change anything,” said councilman Russ Jehl. “The only thing that changes the fact that they are in a material breach and that their service is lousy is improving the service and getting the garbage picked up on time.”
Jehl has drafted a resolution that declares Red River in breach of its contract. City council has agreed to consider the resolution. More discussion on the issue is scheduled to happen at the next council meeting on Aug. 22.
Red River says it’s working around the clock to correct problems with trash collection.
Whatever the solution is, Mitch is hoping something is done fast.
“For goodness sake, just show up. I don’t mean just show up every once in a while, I mean show up on a consistent basis.”