Cold weather still blamed for trash problems


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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 1/09 5:38 pm Published: 1/09 3:27 pm


Most of Sunday's snow and ice are melted, but five days later, we're finding out Mother Nature is still being blamed for problems in Green Country.

On FOX23 News at Noon, we showed you trash piling up in the Preston Lakes Neighborhood, in Owasso.  We're seeing the same issue in the nearby Silver Creek Neighborhood.  We discovered they are two of the ten neighborhoods where the trash was not picked up as scheduled.

"They're usually here every Wednesday, like clockwork," said Ed Pittman, who lives in the Preston Lakes neighborhood.

So we went to Owasso City Hall to find out what's going on.

"We had some hydraulics that froze up," said Roger Stevens, Owasso's Director of Public Works.

Stevens says there were actually three factors that combined to create the perfect storm:  Crews dealt with a huge volume trash after the holidays.  Since Christmas Day and New Year's Day fell in the middle of the week, crews had to work to play catch up.  But, the biggest problem was the cold.

"With temperatures being two (degrees) below zero, something that we just don't commonly see around Oklahoma."

We've kept up with the city's updates on Facebook.  The first time we found out about trash troubles was a week ago.  Two of their six trucks were pulled out of the fleet with hydraulic problems.  They were quickly fixed, but now another one is out because of a fuel pump issue.  Crews are working overtime to catch up.

"We're a day behind," said Stevens.

No one likes to see trash stacked at the curb, but most residents aren't too worried.

"We've lived here 12 years, we've never had a problem with trash.  This is the first time they've missed us," Pittman said.

"The residents have been very, very patient (they are) very understanding.  The Public Works (Department) deeply appreciates that very much," said Stevens.

We asked Stevens how much of a bite the truck repairs and overtime costs are taking out of the city's budget.  He says he doesn't expect to have those numbers for a few days.

We caught up with crews working in the Nottingham Hill neighborhood.  They are working ten hours a day to catch up.  The city says if today is your scheduled pickup day, your trash might not be picked up until tomorrow.  If Friday is your scheduled day, expect your trash to be picked up on Saturday.  We'll stay in touch with the city and let you know if there are any more equipment problems.

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