Gary garbage pickup to resume

July 22, 2009 7:41:05 AM PDT
Garbage pickup resumes in Gary, Ind., Wednesday, more than a week after it was halted because of a dispute over the private company that was hired to collect it.Click here for the latest on Gary trash pick up "I cannot continue to hold my citizens, my constituents hostage over what's going on. It's unsafe, it's unhealthy," said Kimberly Robinson, Gary City Council.

It was a standing room only crowd inside the Gary City Council chamber on Tuesday night as council members reversed their vote from two weeks ago when they originally rejected the mayor's decision to tax residents $12 a month to pay for a $5 million garbage pickup contract with Allied Waste Management.

On Wednesday, it was a different story as Gary residents have seen their garbage pile up over the last nine days.

"I am so happy and relieved because the garbage in our area is ridiculous," said Regina Clayton, Gary resident.

The final vote on Tuesday night was 5-4 in favor of continuing Allied's contract. The decision angered many, most of all the 28 garbage truck drivers laid off by the mayor's decision to outsource pickup.

"I feel disappointed and hurt. I feel as people, you don't worry about my family and how we going to eat. This is wrong," said Carl Jones, a laid off driver.

"This is the beginning of a long term struggle so we're not giving up our initiative nor our goals. What we're doing is retrenching for the fights in court that are going to follow," said Bill Kosarch who is against outsourcing.

For his part, Mayor Rudy Clay says that the job loss is a regrettable one but will in the long term save the city some $4 million a year.

"You can't make everybody happy. And I don't try to make everybody happy. I try to make the people of Gary, Indiana happy. And I think the people will be happy when we get this garbage picked up," said Clay.

While it may not be the last the citizens of Gary hear of the issue, Mayor Clay says that Allied's 11 trucks will resume pickup service on Wednesday morning, working 12-hour shifts until all of the garbage is cleared.


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