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With collection delayed, overflowing trash brings ‘all kinds of rodents’ in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Garbage pickup continued Monday, Feb. 4 in Milwaukee after it was postponed for days due to severe weather -- both a snowstorm and bitterly cold temperatures -- so that sanitation workers could help with cleanup efforts. Some residents said the delay created major problems in their neighborhoods.

At Sherman and Burleigh, the garbage had not been collected in two weeks, resulting in overflowing trash bins that were spilling onto the sidewalk and street. It brought some unwanted visitors to the neighborhood.

"I ain't never saw it this bad, and we've been here a year," said Christopher Davis.

Davis said he had been waiting nearly two weeks for the garbage outside his apartment to go to the landfill.

"I got nieces and nephews. I got kids in the building. Other people got kids in the building. Gotta walk past to go to the bus stop, to go to school, and they gotta go in the street because of the trash," said Davis.

The City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works suspended trash collection for four days due to the snow and dangerous cold. While service resumed on Friday, Feb. 1, DPW officials said it would take several days for workers to get fully caught up.

Davis said the issue was more than an eyesore. He called it a public health concern.

"There's all kinds of rodents coming from out there. Like, you clearly can look and see," said Davis.

A few blocks away, Sarah Gibbs said the garbage truck was a welcomed sight. She moved in last week.

"We didn't want to be those neighbors that just have garbage sitting there, but where else are we supposed to put it?" said Gibbs.

As Davis waited his turn, he even had an offer for the city.

"I was prepared to come out and help fling some of the garbage on the truck, even, if they want some volunteers to help," said Davis.

DPW officials said the regular garbage collection scheduled would resume beginning Friday, Feb. 8. Meanwhile, sanitation workers would work extended hours through Wednesday, Feb. 6 to catch up.

Officials asked that residents make sure workers have a clear path to garbage carts, and ensure they are free from ice and snow accumulation so they can be moved. Those with curb collection were asked to leave their carts on the curb until it is serviced. They noted that no citations will be issued for carts left out, awaiting service.

The makeup schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 5: Households scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30 (yellow schedule)

Wednesday, Feb. 6: Households scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31 (green schedule)

Friday, Feb. 8: Regular schedule (gray schedule)

CLICK HERE to find your schedule.

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