Trash Piles Up After New Company Takes Over Collection Duties in Reading

Some Reading residents have not had their trash picked up in about three weeks due to delays by Republic Services of Northern Massachusetts

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Problems have been piling up in Reading, Massachusetts, after a new trash company took over.

According to town officials, some residents haven't had their trash picked up in about three weeks because of delays by their new trash collection company, Republic Services.

Town Manager Fidel Maltez told NBC10 Boston on Tuesday that the company claims to have truck issues and be understaffed.

"The town of Reading is going to explore all operational and legal avenues to make sure this issue is resolved as quickly as possible for our residents," said Maltez. "We are prioritizing trash. Trash, as you can imagine, has an odor attached to it, has rodents attached to it, and is more of a public health concern."

Many homeowners have been upset, accusing the company of neglecting the problem instead of collecting the trash.

"I don't know what's going on with this new company, but I think the town should get rid of this new company because it's awful," said resident Debra Kwiatek.

On Tuesday, Department of Public Works front-end loaders and dump trucks went around through various neighborhoods, helping pick up the garbage.

Maltez explained that recyclables will be picked up second, since the trash attracts animals.

Neighbors like Ann Marie Paccari agreed with the idea.

"We have coyotes. There's about seven a pack here in the woods because there's a swamp back there, and there's also a few raccoons in the tree behind my house, who are usually at my trash," she said.

Some neighbors rejoiced when their trash was finally picked up Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm thrilled," said Donna Lazzara, a Reading resident. "Now all they have to do is come and get the other bucket, and then we're all set."

Maltez said he hopes the town will be caught up with trash collection by the end of the week.

"Republic Services of Northern Massachusetts is currently in a transition period due to a recent acquisition," the company said in a statement to NBC10 Boston. "Our team has experienced some delays during this process. We have been in constant communication with the Town of Reading, and are working to efficiently and safely get all routes back on schedule. We plan to be back on schedule by the end of this week, with regular pick up days beginning next week. We are committed to this community and are proud to serve our customers. We thank them for their patience during this time."

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