Trash is piling up outside homes throughout Eutaw, Alabama, but leaders there say the city's ability to fix the problem may be legally limited.

Latasha Johnson, the mayor of Eutaw, told the Tuscaloosa Thread that for the last two months, her office has been receiving complaints from constituents about trash services in the city.

She said unlike larger cities, Eutaw does not have its own municipal garbage service and instead pays a private company, Waste Management, more than $16,000 each month to pick up and dispose of household trash in the area.

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Lately, though, that service has been disappointing at best -- Johnson said trash is not being collected on time and when it is, Waste Management is frequently leaving trash on the ground, damaging residents' bins or driving off with them, leaving Eutaw citizens nowhere to properly dispose of their garbage.

"It's completely out of control," Johnson said. "Every time I talk with Waste Management, they have a new excuse. They can't hire enough workers, a lot of their trucks are damaged, this and that. Well, I'm sorry to be this way but that's not my problem."

Johnson said for the price the city pays Waste Management, she expects them to live up to their end of the agreement and properly serve the more than 1,000 households that rely on them in Eutaw.

The mayor said constituents are visiting and calling City Hall to "bless her out" about the problem, but Johnson may be legally prevented from taking matters into her own hands -- she said the city signed a contract with Waste Management and they may be stuck with the company until that agreement expires.

Johnson said the city attorney is reviewing the contract to see what is possible and in the meantime, some city employees have been collecting what trash they can and burning it.

She took to Facebook Tuesday morning to ask for patience from her constituents as city leaders continue to seek solutions to this problem.

A spokesperson for Waste Management did not return phone calls seeking comment before the publication of this article.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates as they become available.

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