JRM Responds to Trash Collection Complaints Before City Council

Councillors invited JRM General Manager Peter Gamache to respond to residents' complaints about trash service in the city.

Officials from JRM Hauling and Recycling and the city's Department of Public Works were on-hand to field concerns about trash collection during Tuesday night's council meeting.

Councillor Jim Nestor, who initially proposed the discussion with JRM general manager Peter Gamache and DPW director Robert Knox in November, opened Tuesday's discussion by referencing over 560 resident complaints about trash service compiled in under the past five months.  

Nestor asked Gamache for a “game plan” to decrease the problems reported by residents, including thrown or broken recycling bins, waste left in the streets and missed pickups of larger items. Other councillors reported receiving multiple complaints from residents, while some shared their own personal frustrations.

“This has been an ongoing problem,” Nestor said. “...What I see (happening) is, after the trucks roll through, there's recycling bins all over the place, there's trash and recycling left in them, they're all over the street...there seems to be some inconsistency here.”


Gamache responds

Gamache said he would prefer there were no complaints about JRM's work, but felt the number was relatively low for a contract servicing over 12,000 homes a week. He told councillors about 150 of the complaints compiled by the city were not related to JRM's collection services, instead falling under the DPW's jursidiction. 

“We've addressed the issue with our employees,” he told the council. “If we make a mess, we pick it up.”

Gamache blamed other factors – such as overstuffed containers and those rummaging for recyclables – for trash blowing around on the city's streets, noting workers often find streets strewn with trash before their arrival. 

He also reiterated a previous invitation to councillors to accompany him and his crew on their morning collections.

Councillor Neil Kinnon called the problem a “50/50 proposition," noting the city could improve services on it's own end by offering larger recycling bins and by coordinating street cleanings to occur on the days following trash pickup.

“Something needs to improve on this, but we need to be realistic,” noting the complaints reflect only about .02% of the pickups performed. “...I don't think if you brought anyone else in you'd see anything different, unless we change the way we (do things).”

JRM signed a 20 year contract with the city in 2011.

What do you think about trash collection in the city? Have you ever had any problems? Any great experiences? 

fred December 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Say it ain't so, AnnieO.
fred December 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Your right vic. He did say, he could not change the way the state is going, but he can make a difference in Malden. I believe him. If Annie/Kinnon could put there differences behind, those are the two leaders I would want for our city. I hope annieO was joking about that liawathe sign.
AnnieOMalden December 11, 2012 at 05:59 PM
fred: So MV: How is it Kinnon doesn't do more for the safety and cleanliness of this city now? He is, after all, on the Council. He's the Chair of the Safety Committee. He's privvy to the details of the budget. He's a "numbers guy". What's he waiting for? Isn't this what he's supposed to be doing instead of building another field (S. Broadway) for the football team at the charter school? Eileen Fay first proposed the raised sidewalk before her untimely passing. He could not win in the Highlands until he bought High Rock. Where is our replacement fire station which closed due to his neglect of the fire station? I would think that would be up there on the "to do" list for the ward, eh? Why has he never brought up the trash tax again and made any proposal to improve how we handle our solid waste program? He has the power to make change in this city now and I am just a citizen who only got the question on the ballot for the trash tax yet could not get the Council to listen to the citizens. He's on the Council, not me. Maybe they don't feel the same way about him as you do and he cannot work with them and could only dictate to them as Mayor? Maybe you haven't noticed but he has to be the boss and will not have his authority questioned. Go ahead and try.
AppleBottom02148 December 16, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Kinnon is in it for the wrong reasons. He had never listened to a residents concerns. He responds so he don't look like an idiot. He has no compassion for ehat we think or how we feel. Defend away, but Kinnon will never truly care.


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