West Haven residents making a stink as trash piles up

Wheelabrator in Bridgeport

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Bulk trash day has now become bulk trash week for many in West Haven.

“Last week it was supposed to be picked up,” said Scottie Smith of West Haven.
He said it has been going on a week now.

Bulk pickup only happens three times a year here. That’s when folks can put large items by the curb to get picked up with the regular trash by Trash Master, which has the city’s garbage collection contract. Last week, not only did the big stuff not get picked up, but neither did the regular trash.

“With the aroma coming off of the garbage it was awful,” said Sandy Uscilla of West Haven. “The flies were flying over the trash can.”

“As of today we put more trucks on the road. I spoke to Trash Master, our contractor,” said Mayor Ed O’Brien. “They’ve put more trucks on and in the next couple of days to take care of it.”

News 8 spotted one Trash Master crew, but they were only picking up recycling. They drove right by piles of bulk trash.

What TrashMaster told the mayor is the problem is on the other end. After the trucks pick up the trash, they have to take it somewhere, and they take it to a place called Wheelabrator in Bridgeport. It apparently has a broken crane and trucks are waiting for hours and that’s putting them behind schedule, meaning everything is left at your front door, including the front door.

News 8 checked out Bridgeport’s Wheelabrator plant and found more than a dozen garbage trucks from miles around all waiting to unload their cargo. All the trash piles have some saying it looks like West Haven is heading downhill.

“It really is depressing,” Uscilla said. “This used to be a wonderful city and it seems it’s going downhill quickly.”

The mayor says Trash Master seemed overwhelmed by this season’s bulk pickup, and there may be some changes coming soon.

“We’re going to look at how many times a year we pick up the trash, plus our trash contract is going out to bid, so we’ll see. Maybe we can get a larger company with more trucks,” O’Brien said.

In the meantime, the mayor says Wheelabrator is letting West Haven’s trucks cut in line, and will stay open late if necessary to accommodate the extra load.

O’Brien says the city has added 3 trucks to TrashMaster’s fleet and the incinerator Wheelabrator has said West Haven’s trucks can “cut in line” to unload.


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