Durham public housing families frustrated after trash dumpsters not emptied for at least a week

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – People who live in Durham public housing properties experienced a delay in trash pickup last week, after an employee of DHA’s trash disposal vendor was exposed to COVID, according to the Durham Housing Authority.

People who live at Forest Hill Heights and Edgemont Elms reached out to CBS 17 about their concerns regarding trash dumpsters in their communities overflowing with trash that hadn’t been emptied for at least a week.

Veronica Perry lives next to one of the dumpsters at Forest Hill Heights and she said the stench has become unbearable.

“It smells horrible, I can’t open my door for fresh air,” Perry said. “Trash is just laying all around. They should have done something about this before now.”

Over at Edgemont Elms on Tuesday morning, the trash dumpsters were packed full and dozens more bags of trash were set outside next to the dumpsters. Flies and maggots could be seen all around the trash.

Charlitta Burruss lives at Edgemont Elms and said the dumpsters were not emptied all last week.
“We’ve got neighbors who live next to this dumpster who have to come out and smell and see all of this,” Burruss said.

Both Perry and Burruss said they had reached out to the Durham Housing Authority last week about their concerns with the dumpsters not getting emptied, but they said nothing had been done.

“To see other communities like this, it just hurts that you can sit in a high seat and ignore us like we’re nobody,” Perry said.

CBS 17 spoke with DHA officials who said trash pickup had been delayed at all of the public housing properties because one of the drivers with their trash disposal vendor had been exposed to COVID.

DHA officials said they are in the process of discussing solutions to empty the dumpsters at the properties.
CBS 17 was at Edgemont Elms late Tuesday afternoon around 5 p.m. when the trash vendor came and emptied the trash dumpsters at the complex.

While DHA and the trash vendor are working on a solution, Burruss and other families who live at Edgemont Elms argue something should have been done about this before now.

Burruss said that one reason she decided to run for mayor was to try to get something done about issues in Durham Public Housing.

“I know nobody would want to live like this, so why are we subject to filth and unsanitary conditions?” Burruss said. “I just want someone to care about us.”

The Durham Housing Authority said the trash dumpsters at Forest Hill Heights had been emptied last week and would be emptied again on Wednesday.

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