Reading blames Republic Services for weeks of missed trash pickups

Residents of a Massachusetts town say their trash hasn’t been picked up in weeks, and it’s not the first community to report problems after the former contractor was sold to a new owner. City of Reading officials said more than 100 service requests relating to garbage and recycling collection delays were filed between Thursday afternoon and Friday noon. Several residents told NewsCenter 5 or posted on social media that trash pickup was two weeks or more behind schedule. “You won’t take our calls. You won’t take our trash. Please help us,” one Reading customer wrote on Twitter. Republic Services, which is contracted to provide disposal services in the city, responded to this message and several others on Monday reporting uncollected waste in Reading. “We apologize for this service outage,” the company wrote in response to several of the posts. “We’d love to help. Please send us a DM with your service address including zip code and a correct contact number. Please allow up to 24 business hours for a response to your message. Thank you.”The situation was similar to Lawrence in September, when that town’s mayor felt he had to set a deadline for trash pickup after trash had been left on the curbs for weeks. Officials in Reading said Republic Services were not fulfilling their contract and some Department of Public Works employees had been deployed to collect some of the rotting waste. “We will absolutely look for any damages the town is owed,” said Reading Town Manager Fidel Maltez, who was picking up rubbish with DPW crews on Monday. JRM Hauling and Recycling, which previously served Reading and Lawrence, merged with Arizona-based Republic Services earlier this year. On its website, Republic Services says it serves 14 million customers in 47 states. Reading town officials announced new trash and recycling pickup schedules last week, designating parts of the community for pickup each day of the working week. The new schedule went into effect on Monday and NewsCenter 5 reporter Todd Kazakiewich saw crews in a JRM truck and Republic Department uniforms picking up trash in the city. “So it’s not like they didn’t show up at all. They just didn’t show up to the level required by the contract,” Maltez said. Maltez said the garbage collection problems began in Reading on Oct. 3 and Republic Services blamed the problems on difficult business integration. shared a statement with NewsCenter 5 in which the company acknowledged that it was experiencing delays in garbage collection during the transition period following the acquisition of JRM Hauling and Recycling. “We have been in constant communication with the City of Reading and are working efficiently and safely to restore all routes on schedule,” Republic’s statement read. “We expect to be back on schedule by the end of of this week, with regular collection days starting next week. We are committed to this community and proud to serve our customers. We thank them for their patience during this time.” Maltez said Reading officials have given Republic Services an ultimatum to either rectify all issues by the end of this week or lose his contract with the city. .

Residents of a Massachusetts town say their trash hasn’t been picked up in weeks, and it’s not the first community to report problems after the former contractor was sold to a new owner.

Town Reading officials said More than 100 service requests regarding garbage and recycling pickup delays were filed between Thursday afternoon and Friday noon. Several residents told NewsCenter 5 or posted on social media that trash pickup was two weeks or more behind schedule.

“You won’t take our calls. You won’t take our trash. Please help us,” a Reading customer wrote on Twitter.

Republic Services, which is responsible for providing disposal services in the city, responded to this message and several others on Monday reporting uncollected waste in Reading.

“We apologize for this service outage,” the company wrote in response to several of the posts. “We’d love to help. Please send us a DM with your service address including zip code and a correct contact number. Please allow up to 24 business hours for a response to your message. Thank you.”

The situation was similar to Lawrence in September, when that city’s mayor felt he had to set a deadline for garbage pickup after trash had been left on the curbs for weeks.

Officials in Reading said Republic Services were not fulfilling their contract and some Department of Public Works employees had been deployed to collect some of the rotting waste.

“We will be looking for absolutely any damages the town is owed,” said Reading Town Manager Fidel Maltez, who was picking up rubbish with DPW crews on Monday.

JRM Hauling and Recycling, which previously served Reading and Lawrence, merged with Arizona-based Republic Services earlier this year. On its website, Republic Services says it serves 14 million customers in 47 states.

Read city officials announced new garbage and recycling pickup schedules last week, designating parts of the community for pickup each day of the work week. The new schedule went into effect on Monday and NewsCenter 5 reporter Todd Kazakiewich saw crews in a JRM truck and Republic Department uniforms picking up trash in the city.

“So it’s not like they didn’t show up at all. They just didn’t show up to the level required by the contract,” Maltez said.

Maltez said the rubbish collection problems began in Reading on October 3 and Republic Services blamed the problems on difficult company integration.

“They did not expect the number of shortcomings in the trucks, in particular, which were acquired from JRM. They also share that they have labor shortages,” the city manager said.

Republic Services shared a statement with NewsCenter 5 in which the company acknowledged that it was experiencing delays in garbage collection during the transition period following the acquisition of JRM Hauling and Recycling.

“We have been in constant communication with the City of Reading and are working to safely and efficiently restore all routes on schedule,” Republic’s statement read. “We expect to be back on schedule by the end of this week, with regular pick-up days starting next week. We are committed to this community and proud to serve our customers. We thank them for their be patient during this time.”

Maltez said Reading officials have given Republic Services an ultimatum to either rectify all issues by the end of this week or lose his contract with the city.