‘It’s bad’: Here’s why trash has piled up in Lawrence

"[There’s] dead rats all over the place."

Garbage in Lawrence has been left to sit curbside as the Merrimack Valley city’s hired trash collector navigates staffing and vehicle issues, the city’s mayor said.

Mayor Brian A. DePena, in a statement to Boston 25 News, said Republic Services are facing a few challenges after buying JRM Hauling and Recycling, which previously handled the city’s trash pick-up, earlier this year.

“We don’t want to be blaming anybody but if we have to, it’s the company to blame,” city spokesperson Nestor Castillo told the station. “The city of Lawrence is doing its best to finally fix this issue.”


DePena said the problems have “dramatically impacted” not only Lawrence but also several surrounding communities.

Some residents said the smell of the uncollected trash is not the only issue on their streets.

“It’s bad. [There’s] dead rats all over the place,” Yarleny Diaz told Boston 25 News. “It’s disgusting.”

And residents will have to wait a few more days before they may see their trash hauled away.

“I am fully aware of the ongoing challenges we are going through now with the delay on the uncollected trash in the city. I share your frustrations and concerns about this uncommon and outrageous situation,” DePena said in a statement to the news station. “We recently met with the owners of Republic Services, who have committed to collect all uncollected trash, yard waste, and recycling by next Wednesday.”

Republic Services also provided this statement to Boston 25 News:

During this time of transition, Republic Services of Northern Massachusetts has experienced some service delays. We understand the inconvenience this has caused to our customers, and we are working diligently to get back on schedule.

Our team has been in communication with the City of Lawrence and has developed a plan to mitigate any further issues. We are committed to this community, we are proud to serve this community, and we thank them for their patience during this time.

Lawrence residents with questions or concerns about the situation can contact the Department of Public Works at 978-620-3090.


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