City blames ice storms, broken down trucks for debris pick-up delays
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In some cases yard waste has been sitting out on Wilmington lawns for weeks.

The city says the amount of yard debris has increased more than 60 percent this spring, but most of the trucks to pick it up have broken down.

"The whole community is having this issue, debris laying in the yard, grass turning brown where the debris is," Wilmington resident Robert Pridgen said.

Sticks, branches and leaves all litter yards around the Port City, as crews struggle to pick up all the lawn trash around town.

"We've gotten a lot of questions, because it's very unusual for us to fall behind like this, except in a storm, like a hurricane when there are huge amounts of debris," city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert said.

Talbert says last week crews were behind by at least four days. She says people have been putting out more debris than normal, because of the two ice storms back in the winter.

Residents don't understand why their waste has not been cleaned up.

"It's too much mess going on," Pridgen said. "It'll soon be time for another storm to come through and knock some more stuff down. Then what are they going to do?"

Talbert says there could be a delay because many of the trucks used to pick up the debris are being fixed. She says once they fix a truck, a couple of days later it will break down again.

The city says residents have to do their part, too, like putting yard waste into containers. Crews do not have the right equipment to pick up yard waste that is sitting on the curb.

The city has had to hire a contractor to help. They hope to catch up on the waste pick-up in the next couple of weeks.

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...they would have plenty of money for new trucks!

"She says once they fix a truck, a couple of days later it will break down again."

If the trucks are breaking down that often, either the maintenance dept. is ineffective or the trucks are beyond their useful life cycle.

Sounds like a good opportunity for WWAY to do a little digging and find out what the story is.

Malissa Talbert, city spokesperson, might simply be lying. Wouldn't be the first time that Melissa's been told by her masters, The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, AKA City Council, to misdirect the truth.

Just about the only thing this little group of downtown insiders ever seem to get right are their little insider real estate transactions. If there isn't a commission involved, they just don't ever seem to have the time to get involved (the exception being intimidating police car paint jobs and other non-issues).

Communications Manager Malissa Talbert here: Nine new yard waste pickup trucks are included in the 2014-15 budget that is currently being considered and will be approved later this month. Purchase of replacement trucks had been delayed during the economic downturn and we are now getting back to a regular replacement schedule.

Why didn't you just say that in the first place?

Spend less money on fancy police cars that may or may not intimidate, and buy some trucks. Next get these prisoners from the local jail and put them on the job. Next buy a debris grinder and pile that mulch for citizens to take for free. That's how we do it in Pender County