Huntington Residents Wait Three Weeks For Trash Pick-up

By Laura Donaldson

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 1, 2010 at 6:14 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Huntington residents are literally talking trash this week.

Some residents are getting more and more upset about trash pick up, or lack there of, and this week especially. It's been two weeks since residents had their garbage picked up, and now they'll have to wait a third week before they see the trash removed.

“I've got a pile of trash about yay high and it's starting to stink up my house,” Huntington resident Garret Pressler said. “I think they should pick it up once a week.”

Trash bags like Pressler’s litter the streets of Huntington. The sanitation director tells Indiana’s NewsCenter he's surprised at the number of bags.

Mayor Steve Updike tried to get city council to pass a $10 garbage fee increase to help with budget issues last year. When they refused, he cut weekly trash pick up to twice a month. But March has 31 days, so trash won't be picked up for three weeks.

Some residents tell Indiana’s NewsCenter now they would gladly pay $10 fee for weekly pick-up.

“I would definitely pay the ten dollars a month,” Regnee Akwright said. “I think it would be worth it. And I think a lot of people would too. They would rather pay that than leave it like it is.”

“Ten bucks? I would be down for that, anytime, yeah,” Taylor Guy said. “Because it's just sitting outside my house, I don't want it sitting inside my house, it's smelling up the place. And then we sit it out and it looks gross on the front lawn so.”

Economic development leaders say they don't think the trash will affect the city's ability to attract new businesses, because they don't think residents will put up with this much longer.

“It's not be a problem in economic development in an industrial development market place. If it were a long term situation I would be more concerned,” Executive Director of Huntington Economic Development Mark Wickersham said.

It may become a long-term situation since the mayor and city council are still talking about solutions to this issue.

Huntington Health Heath Department Sanitarian Joshua Williams said for residents who live near water, rodents could be a concern. Also, for pets and children who may play in the area where a garbage bag is open and leaking, there are obvious concerns there.

Williams says he’s monitoring the situation.

Residents say they’re concerned because Easter is this weekend so they say they’ll likely see more trash.

The next garbage pick up will begin April 5th.

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