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Complaints of poor service prompt review of trash pact

By Staff
A PILE AWAITS One Meridian resident decided to let everyone know how long a rubbish pile has been on the side of the road at 36th Street near 29th Avenue, awaiting pickup by Waste Management. City officials say they are considering re-negotiating a contract with the trash service. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
July 18, 2001
Meridian City Council members plan to study the possibility of terminating the city's garbage contract with Waste Management Inc. because they are tired of residents complaining about poor service.
Council members decided Tuesday night to create a committee to examine the trash issue. Residents have complained that Waste Management has failed to quickly pick up debris piled outside their homes.
For weeks, pine straw, tree limb, leaves and other debris has been piled high on several heavily-traveled streets. Fire and law enforcement officials have said the debris is potentially hazardous.
Billy Porter, Waste Management's site manager in Meridian, was out of town today and unavailable for comment.
Waste Management has been handling garbage collections for the city for about eight years. The contract was renewed last September for four years, with the city having the option to extend it two additional years.
At the City Council's request, city attorney Bill Hammack will review the garbage contract to see if Waste Management has broken it.
Council President George Thomas, who represents Ward 1, said debris has been in front of his home for more than two weeks.
Thomas said he will place Smith, another council member, and two people from the city administration on the committee. Thomas didn't know when he will name all members or when the panel will meet.
Smith, who has been the most outspoken critic of Waste Management, said he is frustrated with the garbage debacle and he intends to be rigid when talking with the company.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.