EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 17, 2012

New trash schedule confuses residents

Councilors, contractor say kinks will be worked out over time

LAWRENCE — The city’s new rotating trash removal schedule has created some confusion and frustration among residents and business owners, but city officials and the trash collecting company say it will get smoother over time.

Yesterday, Orchard Street residents complained to the city’s recycling coordinator after their trash had not been picked up for several days. Before Oct. 1, trash was picked up throughout the city every Tuesday. Now, it is collected according to neighborhoods over five days.

“I think it’s an embarrassment and it’s disgusting,” said Laura McCabe, who bought a house on Orchard Street eight years ago. The blue trash bin provided by the city sat in her front yard with last week’s waste.

Throughout the neighborhood were blue bins overflowing with trash bags, broken toys and boxes leaning against them. There were also piles of black bags in front of businesses.

“The holiday (Columbus Day) created a confusion on the schedule especially coming so early in the month and with such a significant change,” said Brian Alexson, vice president of sales and marketing at E. L. Harvey and Sons, Inc.

Alexson said the trash on Orchard Street in the North Common neighborhood was picked up by 2 p.m. yesterday.

“If we miss something it’s our goal to rectify it. We know it’s going to be a learning process for everyone, and we’ll try to make it as flexible as possible for everyone,” Alexson said.

The city signed a three-year contract with the Westborough company and Alexson said they are working with the city when issues arise.

Alexson said most of the calls to the company’s customer service department were from people asking where they can get the bins.

“We started getting calls early on and it actually helped because we did not have a rush of calls,” he said. Alexson said the booklet sent to residents explains the process in English and Spanish.

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