Piles of trash removed after several weeks at Camden apartments

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Crews arrived here early Tuesday morning to clear away the trash at the Crestbury Apartments in Camden, New Jersey.

The mayor says the owners will have to answer to the city and the county for what happened here.

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

Wendy Smith of Winn Residential said, "We do apologize for the inconvenience of this changeover has caused. 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 today for a heavy workload.

Garbage had been accumulating for weeks at the Crestbury Apartments, a Winn Companies property.
EMBED More News Videos

Devyn Holmes was left in critical condition after being shot accidentally by a woman playing with a gun outside a Houston gas station.

Thirty-one dumpsters, overflowing trash, refuse spilling into the streets, near homes at the sprawling complex. County health inspectors were out on foot inspecting the premises.

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

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

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

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

Apparently, the privately owned complex operates as an at least partially tax-exempt entity, he says, under a plan called a pilot short for payment in lieu of taxes.

Camden Mayor Frank Moran said, "I am going to go back and look at the pilot program agreement with these folks and throw the book at them. 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. And we're going to bill them for it," said Mayor Moran.

The county was already in court concerning conditions in seven of the units.

County inspectors were on the scene today and 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," said Louis Cappelli, Camden County Freeholder Director.

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

Piles of trash removed after several weeks at Camden apartments. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 12:30 p.m. on February 19, 2019.

Follow us on YouTube
Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.