Complaints of missed garbage and recycling collections in Baton Rouge dropped 57% in the month since the city-parish sanitation contractor, Republic Services, laid out an action plan to address issues with its services.
Total routes with missed pickups, meanwhile, are down 70%, says Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, who touted the improvements in a press release this afternoon. Broome requested Republic Services submit a plan to improve its services in June, following an influx of public complaints over missed pickups.
The company, along with the mayor, held a press conference June 19 to announce it would add more trucks, drivers and training to enhance performance.
Ten new drivers have since been hired, the mayor says, while another 10 drivers and 10 maintenance crew members are currently being recruited. Republic has brought in six new trucks so far this year, while another four brush trucks will be replaced in 2019, three of which will be delivered in July.
Republic also now has direct access to the city-parish 311 alert system and can deploy a quick-action response team. Route changes will be implemented as well on August 19, which will combine recycling, out-of-cart and hand-pile pickup on the same day for efficiencies.
Among other improvements Republic Services has implemented:
• Recycling supervisor has been replaced to address missed collections;
• Two additional supervisors have been hired;
• Subcontracted with DRC to catch up on yard waste and bulk collections.
“Today’s announcement of improvements in pickup services for our tax-paying citizens does not halt our drive to continuously improve our garbage and recycling services,” said Broome. “Anytime there’s an issue within a given process, you dig in to root out the causes and address them.”