Broken Equipment Causes Trash Collection Problems in West Haven

Now the city is considering alternative methods of trash collection.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com

    Last week, people in West Haven were complaining about a smelly problem: bulk trash sitting on their lawns more than a week after the scheduled pick-up.

    West Haven Mayor Ed O'Brien says the problem was twofold.

    “I think when we went back to three times a year, the sheer volume of it, coupled with there was a crane that broke at the Wheelabrator in Bridgeport, which kept the trucks waiting there three to four hours,” said O’Brien.

    Trash Master, the contracted pick-up agency, says it waited a total of 245 hours in Bridgeport to dump the trash during its 70 trips to collect 70 loads of waste. In all, the company says it collected more than 725 tons of bulk waste from the city. That number doesn't include what West Haven picked up itself to give Trash Master a hand.

    Now, O'Brien says the city is looking at its options to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

    “Moving forward, we're going to be looking at doing it ourselves in house. I think that we supplemented Trash Master. We got out there on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and we were able to pick it up ourselves in the shore district,” said O’Brien.

    The mayor will have a meeting Wednesday to discuss having the Department of Public Works handle the pick-ups three times a year. He says it would put the collection under city control and possibly save money.

    “It could be a substantial savings if we do it ourselves,” said O’Brien.

    The city's contract wtih Trash Master ends in August.

    "As far as them doing the bulk pick-up themselves, they have the right to do that once the contract is up," said Trash Master owner Ralph DiCaprio.

    Trash Master says it did warn the city that there would be delays this time because of the broken equipment. O'Brien says he never received that information.

    The agency says it works with five municipalities has has never had a problem like this before.