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Republic Services to address flood of complaints over missed trash pick-ups

UPDATE: Republic Services announced Tuesday it will hold a press conference Wednesday to detail plans to improve service.

The conference will begin at 10 a.m. and will stream live on WBRZ+.

*****

BATON ROUGE - Some people are fed up that their trash isn't being picked up when it's supposed to be. Now, metro council members are interested in learning why the calls are so frequent.

Tuesday, 2 On Your Side learned there are thousands of calls made to 311 about missed garbage collection every year.

Van Vaughn, who lives off Lark Street in Baton Rouge says his trash is supposed to be picked up by Republic Services twice a week, on Saturdays and Wednesdays. He called 2 On Your Side Tuesday morning after his trash still hadn't been collected from this past Saturday.

"It's too many missed days," said Vaughn.

He says the missed pickups are frequent and come without warning. Then when the trucks return on a day when a collection isn't scheduled, the trash isn't outside for them to take away.

"Let's say you miss Saturday, they'll creep in at 4 a.m. Sunday trying to make the adjustment, everyone's put their trash up and no one's expecting you on Sunday at 4 a.m.," he said.

Thankfully, Vaughn says he pulled out his trash can Tuesday morning and the garbage truck came by to collect, even though his normal collection day is Wednesday.

Baton Rouge Metro Council Member Donna Collins-Lewis says the calls coming to her about missed garbage collection are frequent.

"Just constantly getting calls at the office," said Collins-Lewis.

All of the calls and emails has prompted her to request garbage and recycling reports from the 311 calls center for the last two years. She received those documents Tuesday morning.

According to the documents, from May 1, 2017, to May 21, 2019, there have been 21,312 calls made to 311 regarding a missed garbage service day for general trash pickup. So far this year from January 1, 2019, to May 21, 2019, there have been 8,594 calls made to 311 regarding a missed garbage service day for general trash pickup.

With the data, she hopes to learn more about trash collection in the City-Parish.

"Is it equipment? Is it a money issue? And where is this all heading?" she said.

Tuesday, 2 On Your Side saw a Republic Services truck being towed after it broke down. Republic Services says its equipment is not an issue and out of its fleet of 175 trucks, 150 are on the road every day.

Vaughn, who pays $23 a month for garbage collection, says the service should be better.

"I don't know who's in charge up there, but it's pretty much prompting me to shop a resume for that job," he said.

Republic Services will be making a presentation regarding missed garbage collection Wednesday at the metro council meeting at city hall. It tells 2 On Your Side, "Everything's running as it should."

WATCH BELOW: Customers are unlikely to get refunded.

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