FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — “It’s disappointing that it took five days to come and get our garbage.” That’s a direct quote from Fort Wayne City Councilman Glynn Hines in 2018, exactly two weeks into the Red River contract.
Red River Waste Solutions final day in Fort Wayne was Thursday.
The journey with Red River is one residents won’t forget but would probably like to.
Red River had issues from the start. In January of 2018, immediate misses were attributed to a bad snow and ice storm and new drivers learning new routes.
Problems persisted. In June of that year, Red River was fined for “missed benchmarks.”
That August, City Councilman Russ Jehl pushed for the city to consider Red River in breach of its contract.
That never happened.
- Man protests Red River by leaving trash at Citizens Square
- City Council finds Red River in breach of contract
- Red River apologizes for missed trash pickups
- Councilman suggests city ‘self-cures’ spotty trash collection
- Councilmen suggest transition to private garbage collection
- Fort Wayne councilmen offer plan to ‘stabilize’ trash collection; city responds
- Fined $500K and filing bankruptcy, Red River stands by ‘top-notch’ service
“We expect more from Red River and are demanding more from Red River,” Mayor Tom Henry said at a press conference in August of 2018.
The very next month, WANE 15 shared video from a viewer where a Red River worker loaded an entire trash cart into a garbage truck. They couldn’t get it out, so they drove off.
The issues continued all the way through the end of Red River’s time in Fort Wayne.
It was at its absolute worst in January and February of 2022 during a surge of Omicron, a variant of COVID-19.
That was just a handful of months after Red River filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
It ultimately led to a transition agreement between the city and Red River that kept the company here through the end of June.
On Thursday, WANE 15 asked on Instagram how viewers would sum up Red River’s service in Fort Wayne. The responses: “Trash.” “Garbage.” “Catastrophic.” “A complete failure.” “Terrible.” “Horrible.”
Another: “Good riddance.”
GFL Environmental begins its run as Fort Wayne’s trash and recycling collector on Friday, July 1.