Santa Ana residents say garbage is piling up under new trash collector

David González Image
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Junk piling up in Santa Ana under new trash hauler, residents say
The city of Santa Ana has a new trash collection provider, and some residents say they're already frustrated by garbage piling up.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Some Santa Ana residents are fed up with the city's new trash collection service.

Greg Shield lives at Village Walk condominiums.

"The odor is bad," Shield said. "The sanitary conditions of these trash bins are horrible and we've got people living 20 feet away."

People who live at the complex claim Republic Services is a hit-or-miss since taking over this month.

"They keep skipping us and skipping us," Tony Brock said.

The city transitioned to the new company after using Waste Management for 50 years.

Village Walk officials said they pay Republic Services to pick up 15 trash bins, four times a week but there has been no consistency so the trash piles up.

"We've called numerous times trying to get answers for what's going on and all they can tell us is 'We're going to pick it up' and they don't. 'We're going to pick it up' and they don't," Brock said.

"We keep getting told the same story from Republic," Shield added. "It's they're catching up, they're getting drivers, they're getting truck from other areas."

In a statement Republic Services said:

When we began service July 1, we discovered significant volumes of trash had been left behind by the previous hauler, which added to collection times. In addition, drivers we'd planned to hire from the previous hauler did not follow through on their commitments, which left us temporarily understaffed. We immediately filled those positions with drivers from Republic Services divisions locally and in the West, and we are servicing all routes in the city. All Residential, Commercial, and Roll-off routes servicing the City of Santa Ana are fully staffed and operating on schedule this week. We appreciate the partnership of the City of Santa Ana and thank our customers for their patience during this transition.

Waste Management denies Republic's claims trash was left behind.

Also, the company said all haulers are experiencing driver shortages and they should not be blamed for Republic's staffing issues.

"There was never really a transition plan in place," Shield said. "You don't take over a city of 330,000 people and one day be with one trash company and the next day you be with another. That's not going to work."

The city of Santa Ana said this issue has been resolved as of Monday and trash service should be picked up as scheduled.