Prince George's County still adjusting to new trash pickup schedule

Prince George's County residents are still adjusting to a new trash pickup schedule as the county has reduced pickup from two days a week to just one.

Door signs about the new schedule went out to more than 160,000 homes.

"Overall, it's gone very smoothly," said Adam Ortiz, director for the Department of the Environment for Prince George's County. "Most areas have had no problems at all."

However, the county has received 2,000 complaints in the last week and said haulers have missed pick up in two percent of the homes.

"During the first month of transition, it's a grace period because we knew that it would be extremely complicated," said Ortiz.

There are now 15 haulers that will share the responsibility of picking up trash and recycled materials one day a week in the county. Two of the trash hauling companies, Goode Companies and Bates Trucking, will account for nearly 40 percent of the county's trash pickup.

Both companies and their respective owners and presidents have in total contributed nearly $20,000 dollars to Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker's campaigns since 2006. We asked Ortiz if there was a bidding process to become one of the primary trash hauling companies.

"No, there was not a competitive bidding process," Ortiz responded.

The county said it is legal as long as the 15 companies all agreed that Bates Trucking and Goode Companies would take a large chunk of the business servicing more than 30,000 homes each. The others would just pick up at a couple thousand homes.

Scott Peterson, deputy manager of communications for County Executive Rushern Baker, told FOX 5 in a statement:

"The Baker Administration has always prioritized making sure that County based business, and specifically minority businesses, are competitive for contracts with the Prince George's County. If we are to create jobs and opportunities for our companies and residents, this is smart policy to follow.

"Furthermore, the decision to extend these contracts as well as approval of the contracts themselves were all approved in public forums and at multiple hearings."

If county residents are still having issues with their trash pickup, officials said they should call 311 for assistance.