PARMA, Ohio – The transition of Parma’s collection and recycling services from Republic Services to Rumpke Waste and Recycling was smooth – until it wasn’t.

City officials and residents are upset that Parma’s former hauler has yet to remove about 30,000 blue trash cans and recycling containers currently packed in parking lots at James Day and Veterans Memorial parks.

“There were 120,000 carts dropped off and picked up from residences,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “It went better than expected, but what didn’t go as planned was the Republic and their inability to get the cans out of our city.”

As a courtesy, the mayor said Parma had authorized the Republic to use the two parks as a staging area to remove wheels and covers, stack carts and take them out in semi-trucks.

Republic Services uses the Parma Veterans Memorial Park as a staging area to pick up carts. (John Benson/cleveland.com)

“You would have thought they were delivering cans to the staging area, at the same time they were stocking up on semis,” DeGeeter said. “This process has been horribly slow. I keep lighting fires and talking to Republic officials.

Parma service manager Brian Higgins noted Republic’s Dave Kidder said the carrier initially indicated it would remove the carts as soon as possible.

“They’re staggering miserably,” Higgins said.

When asked for comment, Republic Services issued this press release:

“Republic Services has worked closely with the City of Parma to adapt to the transition to the city’s new waste management service provider. The city has asked us to remove our carts from households as soon as possible. We completed this work in four weeks, ahead of the scheduled six weeks.

“The city has offered to use two of its parks to store the carts during the removal process. We are disappointed with the negative comments made to Republic Services, as we have been in regular communication with the city and have felt that we are meeting expectations. We understand that residents want the carts removed and we expect to have them picked up within the next two weeks. »

What was disappointing and surprising to city officials was the fact that Republic managed to collect 60,000 trash cans and recycling carts from residents in a timely manner, but has since appeared to slow its efforts.

“They did a good job on that,” DeGeeter said of the early cart pickups. “In fact, that was our biggest concern and it went smoother than expected. What we didn’t anticipate was this debacle and their inability to get the cans out of the city and areas of gathering.

If there’s a silver lining to the delay, now’s the time. Winter finds the parks nearly empty.

Higgins said Republic told him they are currently removing 700 carts per tractor-trailer load, which equates to between 3,000 and 4,000 cans per day.

“They have two tractor-trailers sitting there with two workers loading,” Higgins said.

DeGeeter added, “What they need to do is send extra workers over there and get the cans out of there. This is unacceptable. I know we just need a little patience, but it’s very frustrating on our end.

As for any appeal from the city, Higgins said Parma’s legal department is looking into it.

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post.