Yard waste has been accumulating in the alleys of Hickory Hills and a resident came forth at last Thursday’s Hickory Hills City Council Meeting with both questions and concerns for the council.
Mike Mitchell, who said he has been a Hickory Hills resident for more than 23 years, told the council that since the city signed a contract with Waste Management in May, this is the first time he is witnessing this problem.
“It has happened seven times this summer where I have had yard waste in my alley to be picked up by Waste Management, and the truck did not come down the alley to pick up mine or any of my surrounding neighbor’s yard waste,” he said, “Then it gets to the point where I have to call the company, myself, and tell them to come back because they skipped my house.”
He lives in the 8200 block of West 93rd Street behind the Dirty Sock Bar and Grill.
“It’s not necessarily the waste but it is the yard waste that we have a problem with,” Mitchell said. “The truck simply refuses to go down alleyways within the city to pick up yard waste.”
He added that other residents in his area had similar complaints.
“I could understand them missing it once in a while, say for example if there was a new driver on the route, but this has happened to me alone seven times,” said Mitchell, who displayed photos of yard waste in his alleyway that he said was previously ignored by Waste Management.
Alderman Mike McHugh noted on being aware of the alleyway issue. “I have spoken to Bernie (McHugh), Director of Operations at Waste Management, in a recent phone conversation and he plans to speak to his employees in charge of picking up yard waste in our city immediately.”
Mike McHugh recognized the alleyways often being ignored during waste pickup for yard waste. “For some reason, those trucks just do not like going down those alleys,” he said.
Mitchell admitted the trucks do not always skip the alleys.
“[Last Wednesday] they did come down to pick up my yard waste, and alongside a container of grass I had a ten pound tree stump,’’ he said. “Well, they took the container of grass and left the tree stump sitting in the alley. There is no reason why they could not have taken that tree stump.”
Mitchell also claims Waste Management tossed his yard waste container down the end of the alleyway on multiple occasions and placed a sticker on the container stating, “Place can at curb for service.”
Mayor Mike Howley stated there is no problem with Mitchell or any resident living with an alleyway behind their home to have their yard waste picked up from the alleyway.
Director of Waste Management, Bernie McHugh, was not aware of the stickers being placed on the containers or did not give orders for the placement of the stickers, and he also plans to immediately address this issue, Alderman McHugh stated.
The director has been made aware of prior complaints by residents within Hickory Hills and he has handled them himself and in a prompt manor, Howley assured his residents the alley situation would be no different.
“There was a time when a resident’s house was skipped during garbage pickup and we called and spoke to Bernie and he came by himself and picked up the garbage. Since then, we have had no further complaints from that resident and I believe he will handle this situation in the similar manner,” Howley said.