Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Garbage Trucks

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


Dear Mr. Mayor,

Thank you for all that you do for Lakewood- in front of AND behind the scenes!

One thing that I’d like to bring to your attention is a challenge with the garbage truck pickup times. I understand that in a community that is as small as ours, pickup of garbage can only be done once a week, but picking and choosing the timing of the route is of huge importance and that can be controlled.

I live in a development that, not to my choosing or liking, has narrow streets with only one entrance and one exit. Buses come through with great frequency from 8-9:30 AM and from 3-5 PM. For the past few weeks there has been a recycling truck that has chosen to pick up at 8:30 AM. To say that it frustrates the bus drivers is a huge understatement. It completely ruins the timing on their route and has impact for any following routes as well.

I’m sure there are other, wider streets that the truck can choose to service at that time- and even if it’s not wider, it’s shorter and drivers can use parallel streets instead.

I would appreciate it if you’d be able to pass along this message to the Department of Public Works so that they can review the drivers’ routes and schedule them accordingly.

Thank you for your help and attention!

Response from Mayor Coles:

We do our best to keep Garbage Trucks and School Buses from meeting on any roads. It is not always possible. There are a number of factors at work here. Due to the Pandemic, we are having our public works employees work split shifts. This means that members of the day shift report at 2 different times. This means that if one group of workers is exposed to the virus and has to quarantine, we have another group that will be able to continue working. To do this we have to change starting times which means trucks may be going into neighborhoods a little earlier or later than normal. When we learn of conflicts we try to rearrange schedules to the greatest extent possible.

Thank you for reaching out.

Stay safe,



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  1. how about asking the garbage trucks to not block the middle of the road during pick up so the cars can get by? when you make a comment to them, they look at you like you fell off mars……

  2. Hi,

    I was wondering why public works drop off closes at 3pm.

    Most of us work way later and it is hard to drop off in the morning.

    Is there anyway that the drop off can open at 8 and close at 4.

    I never had a job that ended at 3.

    I was also once there at 2:50 to drop off a few things and was told that i could not come in because it is almost 3pm.

    Please consider this.

    Thanks so much!!!!

  3. From what you stated in your question the ones to blame here are the developers and whoever approved your development because is always the same thing in this town. They gave the ok to build but never think that once people move in school busses,sanitation trucks and even fire trucks need to go through those super small streets. The developer all it see is $$$$ and after the development is sold out he doesn’t care about nothing else. Lakewood is huge with probably 100’s of developments right now and if we going to tell the mayor how inconvenient the trucks of DPW are then our garbage never going to get picked up cause i have seen ppl here complaining if it gets picked up to early,in the evening also and lets not talk about late at night like Brooklyn. Lets be grateful for the great department of DPW that we have,remember theres other towns that don’t do half of the things they do for our community and i know cause my daughter lives in Jackson. Thanks

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