Overland Park residents living east of Antioch are experiencing delays with their large item trash pickup.
Because of an increased volume of large item trash materials being left curbside, collection that normally takes one day has been taking up to a week.
The amount of large trash items has increased by 25 percent from previous years, said Lisa Disbrow, a spokeswoman for Deffenbaugh, the company hired by Overland Park to perform the service.
“It’s very surprising,” she said. “No one expected to see volumes jump like they have.”
Two years ago, the eastern half of the city yielded 1,388 tons of trash. This year, around 1,350 has been collected so far, with much more to come.
Overland Park introduced the curbside large item trash pickup service in 1987 to collect items such as appliances, car parts, remodeling debris and furniture from residents.
The program collects from half the city each year, using Antioch as a dividing line. This year, large item trash pickup is being conducted for homes east of Antioch.
Each half of the city is divided into three areas along major streets.
Two of the three areas on the eastern half of the city have been recently completed, with significant delays. The third area — which is from 87th Street to College Boulevard — is now 62 percent done. Deffenbaugh officials estimate the large item trash pickup will be complete in this area by Saturday.
Typically, Deffenbaugh collects 400 to 450 tons of trash in each area. This year’s collection in Area One — which is north of 87th Street to the city limit — generated more than 600 tons of trash, for example.
The delay in pickup has caused concern among residents, many who have called the city to find out why their large item trash was still sitting at the curb, days later.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this might have brought to residents,” said Sean Reilly, Overland Park spokesman.
Deffenbaugh expressed the same sentiment.
“We apologize for the delay and we appreciate residents’ patience as our team focuses on getting the job done,” Disbrow said. “Deffenbaugh is committed to completing the collection of large items in Overland Park expeditiously and safely.”
The reason behind the increased amount of trash this year is unknown, but city officials and Deffenbaugh think it could be contributed to few factors.
Past large item collection was usually in the spring but moved this year to the fall to accommodate requests from residents asking for more time, said Reilly.
The later pickup date might have allowed more time for residents to gather more unwanted items, he said.
Also, home remodeling projects often take place in the spring or summer, which may have contributed to the larger amount of material.
Reilly said the limit on the amount of material that may be placed at the curb by residents is equivalent to two standard pickup truck loads. But Deffenbaugh has been removing debris loads exceeding that limit from numerous households.
To accommodate the increase, Deffenbaugh has additional vehicles and workers out on the streets.
When the collection is complete this weekend, Reilly said the city plans to analyze the situation and meet with Deffenbaugh officials to figure out ways to prevent delays from happening in the future.
“We’ve been doing the collection this way since 1987, so we might look at ways to change it,” said Reilly. “Hopefully we can come up with a plan that will meet the expectations and needs of our residents.”
Jennifer Bhargava: firstname.lastname@example.org.