Piles of trash removed after several weeks at New Jersey apartments

CAMDEN, New Jersey -- Residents of an apartment complex in New Jersey forced to live around filth for weeks are finally getting some relief. But now, they want answers.

More than 30 dumpsters were left overflowing, and the people who live there hadn't seen a trash truck in more than month.

Crews arrived early Tuesday morning to clear away the trash at the Crestbury Apartments in Camden, but the mayor says the owners will still have to answer to the city and the county for what happened.

A chagrined management team is apologizing to residents, explaining there was a payment foul up with a new waste hauler.

"We do apologize for the inconvenience of this changeover has caused," said Wendy Smith, of Winn Residential. "It has nothing to do with them and nothing to do with anybody. I heard rumors about pay bills. It has nothing to with that. It was just a miscommunication during the changeover."

Heavy equipment was brought in for a heavy workload, as 31 dumpsters were overflowing trash and refuse spilling into the streets near homes at the sprawling complex. County health inspectors were out on foot inspecting the premises.

"We pay our rent, but this is what we deal with," one resident said. "They don't do anything, but they want their rent."

Waste Management, the company contracted to remove the trash, sent crews to clear the rubbish, they said out of respect for residents despite an account issue with the owners.

"What I'm concerned about is the children around here," area resident Arcia Holmes said. "There's rats, raccoons, possums, because of the trash that they don't want to pay for."

Camden Mayor Frank Moran says the owners haven't paid their bill to waste management for months.

"I am going to go back and look at the pilot program agreement with these folks and throw the book at them," he said. "This is unacceptable."

The city mobilized its crews to help in the effort and will bill the owners.

"We have heavy equipment, we're going to move trash, load it, get it out of here, and we'll take it to the dump site," Moran said. "And we're going to bill them for it."

The county was already in court concerning conditions in seven of the units, and county inspectors were on the scene as seven additional violations were issued.

"We're talking about health, cleanliness, and the standard of living issues that these landlords, and I am going to call them slumlords, have permitted to exist," Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said.

The trash problem seems to be addressed for now, but residents worry it's a matter of time before it happens again.

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