SCOTT SMITH, Kokomo Tribune
---- — KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Customers of Tippecanoe Waste Removal are searching for new trash service in the wake of the company's apparent decision to go out of business, and it hasn't been easy.
Even before Tippecanoe, based in Lafayette, stopped picking up trash last week, customers had been reporting problems, including late and missed pickups.
But Friday, Tippecanoe officials posted notices at their headquarters and online claiming Waste Management would be automatically taking over their customers, according to reports in Lafayette news media.
Alerted by media reports and phone calls, Waste Management officials quickly announced the messages posted by Tippecanoe were incorrect. If customers want service, they'll have to call and set it up, Waste Management spokesman Tom Horton said Monday.
"We don't have any contract to take over Tippecanoe's residential or business accounts," Horton told the Journal & Courier (http://bit.ly/19s5NpS ). "But we are prepared and eager to begin service for Tippecanoe customers."
Horton asked anyone with a Tippecanoe Waste Removal account to contact Waste Management as soon as possible to set up trash service.
Kokomo resident Chris Markiewicz left his trash out this past Thursday, expecting Tippecanoe to pick it up. He said the truck never came.
"(Tippecanoe's) service has been going downhill for quite a while," Markiewicz said, adding the problems seemed to coincide with Tippecanoe setting up an office in Tipton last year.
Markiewicz said he first learned about Tippecanoe's problems Friday through the Lafayette media. After a couple days of trying, he got a call back from Republic on Monday, and got pickup started for later in the week.
"We just want (the service providers) to know we need service," he said. "We know they're busy, but we'd like our pickup started."
Tippecanoe employees told Lafayette television station WLFI that they were told to go home after they showed up for work last week.
The employee, who said company officials have been communicating with employees exclusively via email and text over the past couple months, said employees came in for work Thursday. And found the trucks weren't safe to drive. The company told employees to go home and that they'd be notified when the trucks were repaired.
Markiewicz said he paid Tippecanoe in advance for three months of service in December and said he's filed a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General's office.
Anyone who wants to report problems to the attorney general's office can go online to http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2434.htm to file a complaint. Waste Management can be reached at www.wm.com or 800-443-5646, and Republic can be contacted at www.republicservices.com or at 765-474-7997.
Information from: Kokomo Tribune, http://www.ktonline.com
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