PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - Tens of thousands of trash cans is not something anyone wants to see in their local park.
The mayor of Parma said when they switched garbage service providers, they had to put the trash cans somewhere. As a result, two Parma parks have transformed into trashcan graveyards. It was supposed to be a temporary spot, but 60,000 cans have been sitting there for a month.
“I saw trash cans that were dumped over that had garbage still in them, just junk everywhere,” said Parma resident Frank Cimino.
Mike Pinzone owns North Coast Aerial Images, and from time to time, he posts the images he captures on his drone on Facebook.
“I saw a bunch of blue that wasn’t normally there, and I was kind of surprised by that, and when I was coming back the other way, I took another look and saw what it was, and I said I wonder if I can get a neat picture out of that,” Pinzone said.
What he thought was just a cool photo sparked outrage and concern within the Parma community.
“Over at Veteran’s Park, the trash cans weren’t even 150 feet away from a real big swale that feeds a retention pond that’s there,” said Cimino.
“Right now, the retention pond is drained, but the contaminated water could still get into that retention water area, and I was beside myself with thoughts of water borne diseases and water borne bacteria and stuff like that that can get into the water system.”
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter says they recently switched garbage providers from Republic Services to Rumpke. The mayor says the city agreed to temporarily store republic’s cans at Veterans Memorial Park and James Day Park.
“They’ve done a poor job getting them out of our parks,” explained DeGeeter. “The process should’ve been as they went to the staging area start loading them on trucks as they bring them in, that hasn’t necessarily been the case there’s been a slow go on that so we have talked with them today, wanna get those cans out of our city before the weather turns and people start enjoying our parks areas.”
The Parma mayor says he’s not too concerned about any kind of contamination.
“I’m not concerned it’s a dry basin over there, and if there is, we’ll get that cleaned up,” said Mayor DeGeeter. “We’ll spray down that parking lot. Well, get the board of health if we need to do any testing on that.”
The mayor says Republic is at fault.
“I blame Republic on it because you would’ve thought that as they pick those up deliver them to the staging area, they would’ve gotten them the heck out of our city and faster than they have been doing,” said Mayor DeGeeter. “So, we’ve been in communication with them logging a fire on them to hurry up and get those cans out of our parks.”
Republic Services of Elyria sent 19 News the following statement, “Republic Services has been working closely with the city of Parma to accommodate the transition to the city’s new waste services vendor. As per the city’s request, we removed the household carts as quickly as possible, completing the work in four weeks, ahead of the expected six-week timeline. The city offered the use of two of its parks to store the carts during the removal process. We have followed the city’s direction at every step of the process. We currently are working to remove the carts as quickly as possible and thank community members for their patience.”