Trash pick up resumes in Gary

Residents to pay $12/month
July 22, 2009 (GARY, Ind.) "Stressed. I had to take it out because the house stunk," said Pia Stewart, Gary resident.

As the pile of trash began to grow, some residents ran out of space and began to illegally dump the debris in an open field.

The garbage trucks may be picking it up, but the stink from Tuesday night's council meeting isn't over. Two council members changed their vote at the Gary Council Meeting, which gave Mayor Rudy Clay a close 5 to 4 decision. The vote approved an ordinance to charge most Gary residents $12 a month for garbage pickup. Senior citizens will pay $7.

"I don't mind paying a fee, a reasonable fee, for it to be picked up and picked up properly," said Rose Wallace, Gary, resident.

"We were getting 50 complaints a day under the old system," said Gary Mayor Rudy Clay. "Under this system, we'll get zero complaints. We were paying $40 a month out of our property taxes for garbage pickup under the old system."

Allied Waste now has the contract for trash pickup. The company is charging the Gary Sanitation District more than $5 million a year for garbage service.

Former department employees are upset they won't get their jobs back.

"I'm disappointed and hurt," said Carl Jones, former worker. "You don't worry about my family, how we gonna eat. This is wrong."

Mayor Clay insists part of the contract with Allied Waste was for them to hire some of the former city workers.

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