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Indianapolis DPW answers questions about heavy trash pick up delays

Posted at 11:31 PM, Apr 26, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Piles of heavy trash are occupying space throughout Indianapolis and residents are speaking out with concerns.

"Dirty," central Indiana resident Ellen Finlinson said. "It's awful. It's disgusting. I hate it."

"I feel disgusted." central Indiana resident Jeff Bullock said.

Bullock lives on Bancroft Street on the east side of Indianapolis. He said his neighborhood has not had heavy trash picked up since the beginning of the year and he wanted to know why.

"You call, and they say 'it's going to run'," Bullock said. "Then you get this mattress out here and it doesn't run."

Finlinson, who just helped her friend move mattresses while WRTV was on the street talking with residents, was frustrated with needing to move trash.

"It should have already been picked up. Two months is too long," Finlinson said.

Neighbors said they have called DPW and the city multiple times.

"It's just back and forth," Bullock said. "There's no definite (answer) when it's going to get picked up and it's obvious. They say it's because of the worker shortage, but it would be nice that when you call... (they tell the) truth instead of getting two different stories from three different people."

Indianapolis DPW said it is prioritizing residential trash pickup during their staffing issues.

"The decision we made when those staffing issues presented themselves, is that we have to prioritize the standard residential trash because everybody is putting those solid waste bins out," Ben Easley, an Indianapolis Department of Public Works spokesperson, said.

Easley said that a staffing shortage is a primary factor for suspending heavy trash pick-up for some areas. Although it's not an ideal solution, he said the department must do what it can.

"Looking forward, we are going to be working to pick up as many heavy trash items as possible on their regularly scheduled days, but it's kind of day by day at this point," Easley said.

Easley said as they work to make pick-ups happen, DPW can't make any promises. They are asking residents to take their trash to the Citizens Transfer Station on the near southwest side of the city.

Neighbors said it's not fair to homeowners stuck with piles of trash as it sends the wrong message.

"It makes us look like we don't care about our neighborhood, and we do. So, it sucks," Finlinson said.

Easley said they have been able to hire some people, but they still need more workers. He encourages those who are interested in becoming a Solid Waste Collector, visit DPW’s website for more information.