I-Team 8

Mayor Hogsett to Republic Services: We will hold them accountable

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett said the city has been working with Republic Service to resolve the trash and recycling pickup problems around the city.

Republic has held a contract with the city for 20 years, and this current contract expires in a couple years. The mayor says if they don’t shape up, the city could look for a new trash collector 

“I will tell you if things are not remedied in short order, we would not be responsible if we did not look for alternatives that would be more effective — more efficient,” said Hogsett. 

Even in the mayor’s own neighborhood, he says there are recycling containers that have been sitting for a while.  

“Most every home in my neighborhood has the yellow top, which means recycling and Republic and those trash cans have been out in the street for some time now,” said Hogsett.

I-Team 8 has been combing the streets and alleys of Indianapolis all week, and we have found recycling bins overflowing and unattended from Meridian-Kessler to the near northside. We have found trash cans overflowing and some that appear to have not been touched for weeks.  

Complaints to the city have skyrocketed in the first three weeks of August. The city and Department of Public Works have received more than 13,000 calls complaining about Republic. That’s six times the average number of complaints.

 Republic told I-Team 8 earlier this week that delays in recycling and trash pickup are because of a shortage of labor, supply chain issues and a significant increase in trash.  

“At the end of the day, the trash has to be picked up. Now we just have to insist that Republic provide the kind of service that residents of Indianapolis deserve and to the extent that they are unable to do so, we will hold them accountable,” said Hogsett.

 I-Team 8 obtained the city’s contract with Republic to collect trash, leaves and recycling for almost half of the county. Public Works has confirmed the contract is good until 2025.  

The agency and the mayor said they may make seek monetary damages from Republic for missed collections. 

 I-Team 8’s Richard Essex asked the mayor if Republic should offer rebates to consumers and the city. Hogsett responded that it would “be a good business decision for Republic to make” and “a responsible one.” 

Republic has not yet responded to I-Team 8’s request for comment. 

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