Kansas City residents frustrated by continued delays for bulky item pick-up

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — KC is further delaying scheduled bulky item pick-ups. It’s part of a messy situation the city hasn’t been able to handle, thanks to the harsh winter weather.

Three couches, some shelving and bags of trash all sit on the curb outside Marlandis Hayes’ Brookside home.

“I get calls from work to have to come get a couch out the street because someone was going through it. So yeah, it’s frustrating,” Hayes said.

He first hauled his junk to the curb in December, only to get a note from the city saying it wasn’t piled up neatly enough. He re-organized and tidied up.

The next pick-up was set for February, and then he got another note on the door, telling him the city was suspending bulky item pick-ups.

“I’m just trying to find someone to get it. The city’s not going to do it, so just trying to see if I can pay somebody to haul it off somewhere,” Hayes said.

Countless winter storms are the culprit, which have plagued city crews.

“It’s just been crazy for us because every time we think we’re going to get ahead of — whether it’s trash collection or recycling or, in this particular case, branch and limb pickup — we get a snow storm like we did over the weekend, and it slows us down even more,” said John Baccala, spokesperson for Kansas City’s Neighborhood & Housing Services.

The city got 9,000 requests for limb pick-up after one of the season’s first bad snowstorms. The same crews tasked with cleaning all that up normally handle the city’s free bulky item pickup service. As a result, nearly 3,800 scheduled bulky pick-ups are now postponed until at least April.

“We have crews that are working 12-hour days. They’ve worked seven days a week since January 25th,” Baccala said.

The city’s now asking residents to bring the curbside collections inside to deter illegal dumping.

“People will see that trash on the curb, and they’ll think it’s a trash pile, and they’ll add more trash and pretty soon it becomes out of hand,” Baccala said.

But Hayes said he’s not pulling his items back in.

The couches are now smelly and soaked with snow. So he’ll likely end up paying for a private hauler and is bagging up smaller items for trash day.

“So if the city can come pick it up, that’d be awesome,” Hayes said.

The city is encouraging people who can’t bring trash back in to call private haulers to come things like this, and if an item’s still in good shape, to consider donating it to charity.

Bulky pick-up should get back on track sometime next month but with more bad weather, it could be pushed to May.

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