Pelham shares update on trash and recycling issues

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Residents throughout the city of Pelham have been facing a number of issues with trash and recycling pickup over the past few weeks. The city shared an update on Aug. 6 regarding next steps.

City leaders met with Waste Management officials on Aug. 5 to discuss the company’s “inability to perform against it current solid waste contract with the city,” according to a press release.

“Since it will take the new provider five months to bring our city online, we must continue to work with Waste Management,” City Manager Gretchen DiFante explained. “We asked Waste Management what it would take for them to collect our garbage on time and follow through on communication to our residents.”

Through these discussions, Waste Management requested recycle collection be suspended for 60 days, starting Aug. 9, while committing to collecting garbage no later than 48 hours after the scheduled pick-up date.

The company expressed that issues such as parts for vehicle repairs, employment shortages and complications from the COVID-19 pandemic impacted its ability to serve the city.

Earlier this week, the Pelham City Council authorized DiFante to terminate its contract with the company 14 months early effective Dec. 31, allowing the city to begin negotiations with a new provider selected by the Cahaba Solid Waste Authority.

In the meantime, the city is working with Waste Management to make sure residents have access to garbage collection.

“While certainly not ideal,” said DiFante, “our main focus is working with Waste Management to ensure garbage is collected over the next five months. We don’t want to reach a situation where public health is compromised. Any organization we would bring in to help us at this point would need at least 90 days to get an operation up and running, even on a supplemental basis.”

To ensure Waste Management holds up its end of the contract, the city will assess a $200 penalty for every missed pick-up after 48 hours.

Residents are asked to continue reporting any missed collections that fall out of the 48-hour timeframe.

“We appreciate the patience of our community. We’re committed to keeping you informed. Waste Management has guaranteed us they will communicate service interruptions in advance, so that we may notify you promptly. Please sign up for Waste Management notifications by clicking the Notify Me button on the homepage of the city’s website. From there, you may choose to receive alerts via text message or email. If you do not already have a CivicPlus account, you will be prompted to create one. No cost is associated with this service,” according to the press release.

More information is available on the city of Pelham’s website.