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CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — It was a welcome sight for residents of a South Jersey apartment complex as the trash was finally picked up Tuesday morning at the Crestbury Apartments in Camden after dumpsters were overflowing. Camden County and city officials are now taking action against a corporate landlord.
The sound of trash trucks early in the morning was a welcome one for tenants after weeks of dealing with smelly, overflowing piles of trash at more than 30 dumpsters throughout the complex.
“My trash can that’s in the kitchen is full, and we don’t know what to do because we don’t want to keep adding and adding and adding to this stuff,” said tenant Melvin Ravels.
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Camden County and city officials say the property manager of the apartments, WinnResidential, stopped paying tipping fees to Waste Management for trash services. Trash removal then came to a halt.
“It’s not up to par, it’s not, and for us to be paying rent and the trash company is supposed to be paid out of our rent? Why is it not getting dumped?” asked tenant Arica Holmes.
While city crews helped Waste Management clean up the excess trash, Camden Mayor Frank Moran said this is only the beginning of action at this complex.
“This is unacceptable. I will be going back to my office and reaching out to the ownership,” said Moran. “One thing we are going to do, is we’re going to mobilize, which we have, and whatever costs we’re going to incur, we’re going to bill them and more importantly, I’m throwing the book at them.”
City and county health inspectors arrived at the complex Tuesday morning to investigate the trash issue and other health hazards, tenants say, are widespread.
“Not just the trash, the house,” said Holmes. “They won’t fix anything, it’s disgusting.”
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A spokesman says the county is also planning a course of action against the landlord who, he says, currently has seven different cases in the local court system for infractions inside the units.
WinnResidential said in a statement, “We apologize to residents of Crestbury Apartments for the one-week delay in trash collection at the property. The trash collection problem occurred when we recently switched contractors in order to improve service. As of this morning, all trash has been collected and the dumpster areas on the property have been cleaned up. Issues with the new contractor have been resolved. Going forward, dumpsters on the property will be emptied four times a week, instead of three times a week. In addition, we are working with the contractor to determine whether more dumpsters or larger dumpsters should be placed on the property. These steps will prevent problems like this from happening again. We appreciate the patience of residents and we apologize again for any inconvenience this situation may have caused.”