The city is trying to improve its trash pickup service for residents with special needs, an official said last week.
Special-needs customers don’t have to put their rollout containers on the street; they can keep them next to their houses and trash collectors will pick them up there, as has been the policy for a long time.
On Jan. 28, the solid waste department distributed a letter to special-needs customers asking them to send current statements from doctors indicating they still need assistance.
The deadline to submit statements was originally March 7, but Alvin Jiron, the solid waste director, said he extended it by a month to Monday, April 7.
Jiron said it’s important to update the list because a person with special needs may have died or moved away but that person’s house may still be getting special assistance.
Before the city sent the letter, he said, the city was giving such assistance to 108 customers. The number now is 69, which he said demonstrates that some people may have been receiving special assistance but didn’t need it.
Jiron also said that on Feb. 8, the city began collecting the trash of those with special needs on Fridays. Previously, their garbage was picked on the day every other customer in their neighborhoods got service, he said.
He said the change was made to improve service.
“Before, I kept getting calls that they (special-needs customers) were being left out. That’s because the drivers changed routes so much,” he said. “To help those with special needs, we wanted to dedicate a day to them.”
Las Vegas resident Sherry Salazar said her grandmother stopped getting special assistance without warning. She said her grandmother has trouble with her sight, so she may not have seen the letter.
“Some of these people have nobody,” she said. “I’m really disturbed by this.”
Jiron said his department worked hard to make sure special-needs customers were informed. He said he even went on the radio to tell the public about the changes.
“We’ve made every attempt to get out the word,” he said.