CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – A disagreement over road conditions in Carmel during this week’s winter storm forces the city to seek $20,000 in damages from Republic Services for each day it fails to pick up trash residents who had to have them picked up standing on Thursday.
“Wednesday we agreed that Thursday was not a good day to pick up trash and decided to bring it back to (Thursday) evening, we sent out a press release to let the public know if you should have your trash picked up on Thursday you get it Friday,” Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said in an interview with News 8.
On Saturday, Brainard was informed that the garbage would not be picked up until Monday.
“They informed us that they had changed their minds, that they were not keeping their word and that they were not going to do it. They said the streets were too bad,” Brainard said.
In a statement emailed to News 8, Republic said:
“The Republic Services team cares about the communities we serve, and the safety of employees and residents is our top priority. Due to the severe winter storm that affected many areas across the country, we took a first decision to suspend service on Thursday. We continued to monitor conditions and forecasts and determined that it would not be safe to operate on Friday. We are proud to serve the Carmel community and look forward to resuming service as soon as possible. that it will be safe to do so.
But the Republican mayor said the city streets were plowed Friday morning and there was no reason Republic couldn’t do its job.
“I pointed out to them that we had 92 snow removal vehicles in the town of Carmel. They had worked all night. All 500 miles of our streets were on sidewalk,” Brainard said.
The mayor said he offered to drive Republic workers to Carmel and even lend them city vehicles to pick up trash, but the company refused.
“Quite honestly, Republic is an $8 billion company that works across the country. What happens in the winter in Minnesota and northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin? They have their trash picked up. It wasn’t that big of snow” compared to those northern US states.
The Republic also said it did not have enough staff on Friday to cover garbage collection routes.