For each of the last three months, Felipe Gallegos has received a city solid waste bill of $12, the normal rate for residential customers.
The bills have arrived right on time, but there’s been a problem most of the time: Gallegos wasn’t receiving service.
Most new solid waste customers find they must wait weeks and even months to get rollout containers, as has been the case with Gallegos.
For such customers, the city has traditionally offered to allow free use of the city’s transfer station on the north end of town. But Gallegos and others wonder why they have to pay for solid waste service if they have to haul their own garbage.
Two weeks ago, he was told by the solid waste department that he could leave his trash in bags or other containers on the curb and his garbage would be picked up.
That appears to be a new approach of the city’s solid waste department.
City spokesman Chuck Griego confirmed Wednesday that new Solid Waste Manager Alvin Jiron has been allowing customers without rollouts to put their trash on the curb. That means solid waste employees have to get out of their trucks to dispose of the garbage; rollouts allow for a mechanized pickup.
“Alvin is trying to work with the people as best he can. It’s admirable,” Griego said.
Griego said the city has received 150 new rollout containers and plans to distribute them in the order that requests were received.
Gallegos, however, said he thinks he should get a refund during the months he was required to take his trash to the transfer station.
“What is the city doing with the money?” he asked.