Some Gautier Citizens Want City To Dump Red River Trash Collector

Dozens of Gautier citizens took to the streets Tuesday urging city leaders to dump the new trash collector. Last week, Red River started picking up garbage in Gautier. Some residents say the city is being frivolous, spending more money on less service.

"Blow your horn, friend," one protester yelled to the cars.

They were out with a message looking for a response. Each honk they got, meant one more person on their side.

"We want to keep DisposALL and not have Red River," Protest Coordinator Barbara Mello said.

Under the new contract, Red River will give residents one large trash can to fill up, and the service will only pick up once a week. Protester Barbara Mello believes the automated garbage collector is collecting more money than trash.

"They are going to charge us a half million dollars more each year for less service than what we were getting with DisposALL."

Protester Paula Vassey wants to know why the city's spending more than it has to for garbage pickup.

"DisposALL came to the table and offered to continue picking up our trash for $12.50. Why would a city councilman vote for $18.95 from RedRiver when we have an offer on the table for $12.50," Vassey asked.

Gautier City Manager Christy Wheeler says the protesters need to get their facts straight. She says the $18.95 is only an emergency, temporary rate.

"We won't know for sure what the total price is going to be until we negotiate a long-term contract. Right now RedRiver is at the price of $12.59 a month, per unit, per house which is as low as any bid we got for anything," Wheeler said.

Wheeler added that citizens have complained about DisposALL's performance for the last three years. She believes Red River will keep the city looking better.

"We won't have bags on the street that dogs get into or wild animals get into. We'll have less of a litter problem in the city of Gautier."

The protesters also complained that the Red River cans are too bulky for disabled people to move. Wheeler said the city will continue providing special pickup service for those citizens.