Leaking city garbage trucks create a smelly headache for downtown business owners

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A city garbage truck has been leaking and leaving behind a watery mess. Downtown business owners say its bad for business and they want it to stop.

“Every time the garbage guys come through, there’s always residue left behind,” said James Black.

He is the owner of T-Shirt Lab right next to the alley on 4th and Gold.

A picture was taken by another downtown employee, who said he sees the city’s garbage truck dumping liquids in the alley every week.

Black said he’s been in business for six years at that location, and he’s tired of it.

“We’re actually getting complaints, people coming into our businesses to the odor in this alley as well,” he said.

However, a spokesperson with the city’s Solid Waste Department said the garbage truck has a leak.

“The picture shows some liquid coming out of the truck… It’s an older truck. That truck is no longer in service,” said Lise Gorgone with the Solid Waste Department.

Gorgone said the trucks were more than a decade old and showing their age. They were all replaced three months ago.

“They’re better sealed. They’re newer. They’re under maintenance schedule. We have routine maintenance schedules,” she said.

She also said they alleys tend to attract a lot of trash, so they try to keep up with extra crews cleaning them at least once a week in the summer.

“It happens. It’s an alley, it’s where garbage is. We do the best we can to keep it clean, we’re there on a regular basis. It does get cleaned up,” said Gorgone.

But Black said it’s just not enough.

“I’ve complained about this alley before. We’ve asked for illumination at night, and for somebody to come get rid of the odors and the muck, nobody’s gotten back to us,” he said.

Gorgone said the trash and smell in downtown alleys aren’t always caused by garbage trucks. She said people in the area contribute to a lot of the trash as well.

The city urges business owners and citizens to report any trucks that are leaking through 311 so they can address the issue immediately.

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