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Weather-related trash pickup delays persist as another storm approaches

Little Dumpsters experiences service delays after winter weather
Posted at 8:13 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 00:24:59-05

DENVER — Another major winter storm is on the way, but some businesses are still trying to dig their way out of the interruptions from our past rounds of snowy weather. People across the Denver metro area have been reaching out to Denver7, complaining that they’ve been waiting for their trash to be picked up for weeks.

Amy Sanford in Aurora told Denver7 it’s been three weeks since trash was last picked up her provider, Little Dumpsters, and it’s become a job for the whole family to keep the house as presentable as possible.

“We have a lot of holiday trash, which there’s always more at the end of the year — a lot more food from the holidays,” Sanford said. “Our house is on the market. We had somebody wanting to come look at it, so we had to load [all the trash] in the back of my truck.”

“There was a bunch of bags, like, surrounding the trash can because they wouldn’t come. So I had to come out with big, like, hefty trash bags and put the little ones inside them, and then tie them up and stack them,” added her son, Cade, whose chore list grew after raccoons apparently pilfered the excess garbage.

Sanford said she’s called Little Dumpsters several times over the past three weeks, struggling to get through to customer service. She’s even had conversations with her neighbors about taking matters into their own hands.

“We’re all frustrated. Last week, we were talking about maybe taking it to the dump and splitting the costs,” she said. “But I mean, that’s essentially as much as, you know, like half of what we paid [Little Dumpsters] for three months of service. So, we are just going to try to give them one more chance.”

Little Dumpsters is not alone in experiencing significant delays in collection. Last week, Denver7 heard from Waste Management customers who, likewise, had been waiting for weeks for trash pickup. The companies have blamed the snow and frigid temperatures of late December for the interruptions to service, and tell Denver7 they have been working since then to get caught up.

Scott Lukach, head of municipal sales for Little Dumpsters, pointed to the long lingering ice on residential roads as the key reason it has taken the company longer to catch up. He said the company is on track to reach every customer before this next round of winter weather hits Tuesday. Whether the storm will result in a new round of delays, however, remains to be seen.

“We’re 100 percent focused on getting caught up, and we will be that this week,” Lukach said. “Hopefully the storm, you know, is slow and not as bad as we think. And you know, typically if it’s just regular snow, we operate right through it, just at a little bit of a slower rate.”

A spokesperson for Waste Management also told Denver7 the company has an eye on the coming storm and more potential delays.

“If the roads are deemed unsafe for our trucks, we will notify our customers about service interruptions,” said spokesperson Jennifer Wargo. “The safety of our drivers, our customers, and the communities we serve is our top priority.”