Missed Trash Pickup Irks Midtown Homeowners

Some Midtown Tulsa homeowners say their trash service stinks. They have gone weeks without their trash being picked up as scheduled, despite repeated calls to the city.

The Sattre's live on Peoria in Maple Ridge. Every Friday, they put their trash by the curb, exactly where the city told them it should be. They often come home from work to find the trash bin still full. It happened on Friday. Katie Sattre said she called NeWSolutions, the trash service directly.

"They said there was no reason for not picking it up," said Sattre. "They just apparently were forgetting to."

The same thing had happened seven weeks in a row, resulting in weekly calls to the city.

"It just got really frustrating, because I don't have time to call every week to have my trash picked up," said Sattre.

Down the road near Utica Square, John Valiulis is facing similar problems. Only part of his trash was hauled off.

"When I came to bring bin in, I found a bag of kitchen waste -- actually a stinky one I'd love to get rid of -- sitting in the bottom of the bin," said Valiulis.

For five weeks, the city skipped a day on his twice a week pickup. Both Valiulis and Sattre asked for refunds for the missed trash pickups. The city said no, because their trash was all picked up eventually.

"The plan is to pick up once a week," said Andy Huggins, Solid Waste Superintendent for the City of Tulsa. "If we pick up every 10 days because of a problem, still all the refuse is collected."

Despite these frustrated homeowners, Huggins says the number of city trash complaints have dropped dramatically.

"We're still in first 6 months," said Huggins. "It's been a monumental change for not only citizens but all of us involved in solid waste."

Sattre bypassed city hall this week and called NeWSolutions directly to clean up the mess. They emptied her bins Monday.

"At the end of the day, I just want my trash picked up," said Sattre.

The city has a list of people who are regularly missed on trash day. They closely monitor those homes. The city says they will unveil new technology next month that will make it easier to track missed trash pickups.