Company increases brush pickup hours

Republic Services, the solid waste management company that serves Brownsville residents, said it has increased hours of operation in an effort to catch up with the overload of dead branches piled up all over the city.

In a news release, the company said it has increased the number of driver hours to 65 per week and that the city of Brownsville has increased hours of operation at its solid waste landfill to help catch up with the unprecedented amount of debris left over from the February freeze.

Republic Services also said it will focus on one section of town at a time and target specific areas within those sections in order to catch up and eventually return to its regular schedule of brush pickup.

The company said it is dedicating 11 drivers to each section daily and plans to have all sections complete by May 31.

“These measures are being put into action because we have seen a significant increase of brush set out due to the freeze in February,” Omar Rodriguez, Republic Services municipal sales manager, said in the release. “Republic Services remains committed to servicing all of our customers and asks for your patience duuring this unprecedented time.”

The company was to address the Brownsville City Commission in a workshop session at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Cameron County also has  a contract with Republic Services.

While County Judge Eddie Trevino said his office hasn’t received many complaints directly, he knows the extreme delay in debris pickup has been an issue. Among the concerns raised by residents are that huge piles of brush can become infested with vermin.

Two or three commissioners court meetings ago, the subject was brought up with the local RS manager.

“They let us know that they are cognizant of it and are working to address it. We told them that people have a right to expect a regular debris pickup, even if they can’t do it on an as-needed basis,” Trevino said Monday.

“If they’re supposed to be there the first week of the month then people have every right to count on them being there when they’re supposed to pick up their debris. … They’ve assured us that they’re working on it,” he said.

“We’ve asked them to do what’s needed, whether it means renting additional trucks or getting additional help to address the concerns, and the public and safety concerns that people have raised by their debris not getting picked up.”

Herald Reporter Steve Clark contributed to this report