Neighbors say city workers didn't pick up trash for 9 weeks

A southeast Atlanta neighborhood association took on the city after upwards of 100 neighbors received arrest citations. The violations followed weeks of issues regarding trash pickup.

“Once the City changed trash collection day, there were issues around Cabbagetown, with people not having their trash collected on the regular day,” says Katie Butler, president of the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association.

Butler tells FOX 5 News that change happened in July. She also says neighbors complained about trash not being picked up for two weeks. Butler says she experienced piled up trash for more than two months.

As a result of trashcans not being emptied, neighbors left their full bins on the sidewalk. Many hoping the Atlanta Department of Public Works would have the trash taken away.

“Because of how close this neighborhood is I had heard about other people already getting arrests citations,” says homeowner John Jarrett.

Jarrett, like his neighbors, received a citation in September. It said the homeowners were required to attend an October hearing. Many said it was their first and only notice.

“First, why we, after twelve years of living here, they'd been on the sidewalk, my trash can had been on the sidewalk all this time,” says Jarrett. “I'd never heard of them not supposed to be on the sidewalk,”

Neighbors voiced their concerns on social media. They also called their city council representative and invited the public works commissioner to a meeting and tour of the community. Their efforts worked. The neighbors won.

“This one was so obvious because so many residents received certified letters issuing arrest citations,” Butler told FOX 5's Kerry Charles.

The department sent letters to those who received citations saying the violations would be dismissed. It also addressed concerns for neighbors like Jarrett, whose home sits atop a steep hill. A smaller truck now picks up their trash in a back alley.

FOX 5 could not reach the city to figure out why the trash wasn't picked up in the first place.

Butler says most of the violations have been lifted, however, there are some who still need to have their cases addresses. She says those who haven't received a letter should contact the Atlanta Department of Public Works.