It’s been a week since Joseph Whiting had his trash picked up. “This one has been here since last Thursday and it’s slap full right now,” said Whiting as he showed us his full bin. He says the problem has been going on for months.
“Just this past Thursday I watched them drive around through the neighborhood and get every garbage can but on this street,” said Whiting. And now Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson says help is on the way. The city just bought 4 new garbage trucks, with 4 more on order.
“It’s going to help immediately because it’s very difficult to run 18 garbage routes when we got 9 trucks,” said Stimpson. The problem started years ago when Mobile had troubles during the recession. That put the city behind on buying new trucks then, old models started breaking down.
“People put their trash out, they expect for it to be picked up,” said Bess Rich, Mobile Councilmember. Thanks to the BP settlement money, nearly $5 million will be invested in trucks and equipment to get garbage pick-up back on schedule. But what about the future?
“This year we started what we call the lease rate so ever vehicle that’s been purchased through the motorpool is paying so many dollars per month into the motorpool fund,” said Stimpson.
So the idea is there will always be money to repair and buy new trucks and cars when needed. And that may sound good, but in the meantime Joseph Whiting is still waiting.
“I just hope they can get our garbage on time when they say they’re going to get it,” said Whiting. The new trucks are expected to hit the road Thursday morning. Each truck cost approximately $272,000.