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Garbage goes weeks without pick up as City of St. Louis looks to hire more drivers

"This can't go on forever or else people are going to start exiting the city,” Doug Spires said.
Credit: Holden Kurwicki/KSDK

ST. LOUIS — There's a problem continually piling up along St. Louis streets and, unfortunately, it stinks.

Multiple people reached out to 5 On Your Side with stories about trash troubles.

"It gets easy to presume that trash gets picked up,” said Lee Fischer.  “That's the most basic thing."

Fischer said the trash truck hasn't been by his south St. Louis home in weeks.

"It's piling up,” Fischer said. “I've got people who are driving by dumping their stuff. Contractors are unloading their trucks. Movers, or people moving out, are dumping furniture."

"We only have so many houses on this block,” Doug Spires said. “How are people turning over that much stuff every week? It's kind of crazy."

Spires recently relocated to south St. Louis from Fulton, Missouri, and he says he's never experienced anything like this. "Trash kind of ran like clockwork there as opposed to here,” he said. “It's a little bit different here."

"I haven't seen any rats,” Fischer said. “I haven't seen any vermin, but that's expectable."

With their alleyway being overrun by rubbish, Fischer reached out to the Citizen's Service Bureau for help.

"It's literally spilling out into the alleyway,” said Fischer. “It's about to block cars coming through. I asked for an extra pickup, and their response was 'we'll get to you as everybody else one time a month.' That's pretty shocking."

5 On Your Side reached out to City Hall to find out what's causing the delays clearing dumpsters and a spokesperson told us the city is currently short roughly 10 refuse drivers before adding the following: 

The Refuse Division works hard to honor its commitment of picking up alleyway trash and recycling each at least once per week, using data to guide pickup strategies. The City has been aggressively working to hire and retain Refuse drivers as well as maintain its limited fleet of collection trucks, while also combatting issues like illegal dumping and the theft of hooks from dumpsters. The city encourages residents to report damaged dumpsters, missing hooks, or other trash issues to the Citizens Service Bureau at 314-622-4800.”

"This can't go on forever or else people are going to start exiting the city," Spires said

"I am patiently waiting for them to get this straightened out,” Fischer said.  “It's 100 degrees today, so let's not wait too long,”

To report an issue in your neighborhood to the Citizen’s Service Bureau, click here.

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