CBS4 Problem Solvers: Trash truck leaks foul-smelling liquid in Indianapolis neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis man called CBS4’s Problem Solvers when the city garbage truck kept leaking a mysterious muck in front of his house.

Bobby Washington said he’d never had a problem with trash pickup, until recently. Every time waste management would pick up his trash, the truck would leak a liquid that was so foul-smelling, it would make a person sick.

“I can’t open up my door, we can’t sit on the front porch, nothing because it stinks so bad out here,” he said.

Washington said it was especially bad on hot, summer days. He added that it wasn’t just liquids ending up in the street, but that the truck would often leave behind garbage as well.

“Last week, I had a tire weight that they left right there,” he pointed out. “I have glass!”

CBS4 visited Washington’s home on trash pickup day. Sure enough, the truck made a mess during pickup. There were even maggots floating around in the street and flies buzzing everywhere.

“Every week,” Washington said. “Every Monday.”

After the truck leaves every Monday, Washington pressure washes the road in front of his house.

“There is going to be something done about it because I don’t want this in front of my house,” Washington said.

Reporter Angela Brauer asked the waste management workers what the leak was. One employee pointed out the issue right away.

“There is a hole in the truck,” he explained. “Anytime they’ve got fluids or they’ve got anything in there, it runs out. It’s not us packing the truck, that’s just the way it is.”

The hole in the truck is bigger than a thumb and it’s meant to be there. It turns out every truck has one to drain fluids.

“If you’re throwing away anything that has a lot of liquids – say a gallon, a half-gallon – we ask you pour it out first,” Betsy Whitmore, Indianapolis Public Works spokesperson, said.

It turned out that Washington wasn’t tossing liquids, but his neighbors were.

The city promised to pressure wash the area for him at some point. When reporter Angela Brauer last checked in with Washington, asking if there was any improvement, he texted back a “thumbs up” emoji.

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