As trash and complaints continue to pile up following the failed rollout of the city’s new pickup schedule, one Dallas council member has decided to take matters into his own hands by hiring a private service to pick up the trash from his most needy constituents.
Chad West, who represents District 1 in Oak Cliff, said he has personally received dozens of complaints from residents who are furious – and rightly so, he added – about piles of trash and missed pickups following the introduction of a new sanitation schedule last month.
But one recent message from an older woman stood out, West said. News Sunday morning. “She didn’t complain. She just wasn’t sure what she could do,” West said.. “She mentioned that there was rodent activity and she was very worried about it.”
West said he realized that many of the 90,000 people in his area were disappointed. But some, like this woman, had immediate and legitimate health problems caused by a pile of rubbish. He called everyone around and found a private emergency garbage service that was ready to help.
On Saturday night, West emailed his voters a poll calling on residents most in need to sign up for a private company to pick up their trash on Monday or Tuesday.
The pickup will be paid for by West’s official funds. When a council member receives campaign contributions, they can only use up to $1,000 per donation for campaign purposes, West explained, and any extra money must go into a separate basket.
For example, if West received a $1,500 campaign check, the $500 would be considered official funds to be used to cover expenses related to his duties as a council member. “This is the situation that seems to me ideal for using these funds,” he said.
District 1 residents most in need are encouraged to register through this link. Fewer than 10 people had signed up as of 11:00 Sunday, West said, but he encouraged residents who might be waiting for regular pickups to keep doing so, reserving a private service for those who need it most.
The deadline for submitting a request is 23:59 Sunday, and the garbage will be collected on Monday or Tuesday. West said he doesn’t have a direct estimate of the cost of the pickups.
The new schedule, effective Dec. 5, means more than half of Dallas residents pick up their trash on the new days. Officials have acknowledged problems with pickup trucks being late or entire streets missing as the new schedule is introduced.
While the rollout should work for the city in the long run, West said it came about “without taking the time to make sure everyone was ready for it.”
City officials said earlier this month that Oak Cliff residences are among those where pickup trucks are most likely to miss.