Fort Wayne’s waste hauler plans improvements, will brief City Council Tuesday

Red River has been fined by the city for service problems. (Courtesy image)

Public Works officials and representatives of Fort Wayne’s new municipal waste contractor will brief City Council next week on problems that have been reported since Jan. 2 — and what is being done to solve them.

Texas-based Red River Waste Solutions last year submitted a successful $4.9 million seven-year bid for waste and $2 million for recycling, but the transition from previous contractor Republic Services has not been smooth, with numerous delays and non-collections reported. In a statement released Friday, city officials noted Fort Wayne was experiencing record cold temperatures, snow and ice at the time of the transition, which complicated things for employees and drivers with Red River Waste Solutions learning the collection routes.

Soon, however, Red River’s trucks will be equipped with mobile electronic units that will not only provide drivers information about routes but will track which customers have been served, according to Regional Manager Ivan Upshaw. Although the technology was included in Red River’s bid, it took a while to make the units operational, Upshaw said, in part because Republic did not provide Red River with information about its routes.

“This will help hold us accountable,” Upshaw said.

In a statement, the city said it and Red River “apologize for any challenges that residents have experienced over the last month. We recognize there have been some issues and are working each day to address concerns. However, it’s not uncommon for there to be a transition period for a new provider and some misses are to be expected.” Calls to the City of Fort Wayne’s 311 Call Center have declined and the number of misses have decreased, the city added.

Residents are reminded to have garbage and recycling bins set out the night before their collection day as crews collect garbage and recycling anytime between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Even though residents may have become accustomed to having materials collected at a certain time, it’s important to have everything set out the night before to ensure garbage and recycling materials are collected, as a new contractor may be arriving at a different time.

Questions and concerns about missed pickups can be addressed by calling 311, visiting and clicking on the 311 icon and downloading the 311 mobile app.

Tuesday’s meeting is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 in the council chambers at Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.