The Journal Gazette
Monday, August 13, 2018 1:00 am

Trash collector apologizes in ad

Says it's working to correct issues; Jehl wants action

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The garbage collection company at odds with the city over allegations of numerous missed pickups apologized Sunday for causing frustration, pledging it won't fail its contract.

Published as a full-page advertisement in The Journal Gazette, the message arrived nearly a week after a city councilman proposed finding Red River Waste Solutions in substantial breach of its trash and recycling collection contract.

“We apologize to the city of Fort Wayne for causing customers frustration and anxiety,” the ad states. “This is the exact opposite of what we pride ourselves on, and to all of those affected by our less than optimal service, we are extremely sorry, but please rest assured, we are working 24/7 to make it right.”

Improvements include increasing training for staff, hiring more drivers and rerouting areas, according to the ad, a seven-paragraph letter to customers from Red River's executive team and employees.

The Texas company took over garbage collection duties Jan. 1 after it outbid the city's longtime garbage collection agency Republic Services. Republic, formerly known as National Serv-All, had held the contract for 20 years.

Red River has been dogged by complaints and accusations of missed collections and poor customer service. In June, the company was fined $65,000 for misses that occurred in April and May.

Although reports of missed collections declined in July, Councilman Russ Jehl said last week the numbers don't show the kind of rapid improvement Red River officials promised at a City Council hearing in June.

Jehl, R-2nd, last week announced plans to introduce a resolution declaring Red River in breach of contract.

Sunday, he described the company's ad as “nice.”

“But I would prefer they channel the great effort they are making in hiring marketing firms into focusing on providing quality service,” Jehl wrote in an email. “The ratepayers just want the garbage picked up, not more promises.”

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