I-TEAM: Cleveland spending millions of dollars more to pick up trash

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CLEVELAND (WJW) -- The I-TEAM has found the cost to pick up your trash in Cleveland just went up by millions of dollars.

We’ve exposed skyrocketing costs before, so we investigated what’s happening now.

The city is spending more so that maybe it can eventually stop spending so much to collect your trash and recycling.

We revealed months ago that city officials are renting trash trucks since so many city trucks keep breaking down. Now we’ve learned they have spent millions to buy a bunch of new trucks. However, they will also keep paying to rent trucks.

Taxpayers like Sam Curiale demand more for their money.

“Yeah, we’re paying for all that whether they’re renting them or not. They’re renting them to keep the city from having trash pile up which is good, but maintain your trucks," he said.

And many of you have complained about seeing trash picked up at night because the city has been short on trucks.

So we investigated what’s being done, and we checked out the cost.

You should already be seeing some new trucks picking up your trash and recycling, and you’ll be seeing more. The city says it ordered 13 new trucks. Some have come in, others will roll in soon. Total cost to you: more than $2.5 million.

Until now, the city has also spent over $300,000 renting trash trucks. Those leases just ran out. Yet, some trucks still will be rented for even longer.

Back in the spring, the I-TEAM went to City Hall trying to find out how this became a crisis.

No simple explanation for it, and the cost to clean up the trash collection mess keeps going up.

Adding to the cost, millions of dollars in overtime paid to workers needed to stay on the job for extra hours to collect trash and recycling on every street in the city with a shortage of trucks.

No firm timetable for how long it will take to fully fix the system.

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