- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Beth Ackerman sais she had to help a Republic Services worker dump her loaded recycling bin into the truck to keep it from sitting on her curb for a fifth straight week.

“That’s the only way it got picked up,” she said. “I’m a middle-aged woman.”

She’s among many Shreveport residents upset by what they say is poor service, The Times reported (http://bit.ly/13R463e ).

Gary Bartels, of Republic Services, said complaints have gone way down in recent months. He told the newspaper he didn’t have time for a telephone interview and wanted to do an in-person interview but didn’t have time before deadline.

Some city councilors and residents said poor service continues.

“For several weeks in a row, there will be an area that’s not been picked up, you know, or either it’s always late or there’s just persistent problems in some of the areas,” said Jeff Everson, the City Council’s new president. “We’ll ask and ask and ask. A lot of the times, the problem may be resolved or then it may reoccur later - or it may not. It has been a tremendous frustration.”

Pratt Industries, a recycled paper and packaging company, subcontracts with Republic for curbside pickup of recyclable materials.

Councilman Michael Corbin says he hopes Mayor Ollie Tyler’s administration and the council can sit down and review Pratt’s contract. He said Pratt and Republic have refused requests to appear at council meetings.

Shreveport residents pay a $2.50 recycling fee attached to their water and sewer bills for the recycling services. The city has a 10-year contract for recycling services with Pratt. The fee is included in the contract, which runs from 2007 until 2017.

The city’s curbside recycling program began in 2008 and went well at first. Early figures showed 70 percent of the then 17,000 customers in southwest Shreveport participating in the program filed only 17 complaints of recyclables not being picked up on the first Monday, according to archived news reports.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com

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