Posted: Dec 6, 2012 9:07 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2012 12:19 AM
MERCEDES - A switch in trash collection service providers has left some residents in Mercedes with refuse piles just outside their doorsteps.
Lea Lerma said planning ahead prevented her from having a container full of trash for a week.
Lerma said her trash collection day is Friday, but she rolled her container out Thursday.
"If we (didn't) bring it out to the street we'd have to stay with all that for an entire week," she said.
She said her collection day was moved to Thursday. Also, the collection will be done with a machine.
"They didn't leave us a note that they were going to change companies. We didn't know," Candelaria Ortega said.
"We barely got the letter like a week ago ... and everybody was surprised, they didn't know what was going on," Rolando Flores said.
The automated collection means residents must leave their containers near the curb, away from mailboxes, vehicles and fences.
"If you have one driver getting in and out of the truck all day, he's not going to be able to finish a route," Waste Connections District Manager Carlos Figueroa said.
That means that if a resident leaves a container away from the curb it will not be emptied.
Mercedes Finance Director Tony Aguilar said they printed a notice in the local newspaper and attached flyers to the new trash containers. He admits the notice was vague.
"I have the flyer in front of me and it doesn't specifically say mechanical pick-up," Aguilar said.
Waste Connections and the city said there will be some growing pains as they implement the new collection service.