Elderly man sees rats, snakes in 2-month-old brush pile as pick up falls behind

Local News

RIO HONDO, Texas (KVEO)—Cameron County’s contracted trash service, Republic Services is behind schedule for brush pick-up, according to one customer, they are behind at least two months.

“I call them, but they never show up,” said Porfirio Treviño, a resident outside of Rio Hondo.

Treviño, 91, said brush pick-up has never been a problem before, and he is tired of calling the County.

“They promise to come and pick it up—they never send anybody,” said Treviño.

Credit: Iris Karami; Pictured: Porfirio Trevino

Treviño told KVEO that he has seen a truck stop by to look at the brush, but nothing is ever done.

“Get off of the truck, look at the trash, get back in the truck, and goes,” said Treviño.

Now, Treviño said that the brush is creating homes for unwanted animals.

“Rats, snakes, opossums and they got into one of my cars and then another one,” said Trevino. “They chew on the engines, [on] some wires and they’re over 1,500 to 1,900 bills.”

Treviño has lived in his home for over 20 years. He said that the most frustrating part of the late brush pick-up is that he feels ignored.

“My daughter [asked] them and they don’t respond—maybe cause we’re old people I don’t know.”

Treviño emotionally told KVEO.

When KVEO reached out to the Precinct 3 County Commissioner’s office of David Garza, they transferred the call twice. First to the right-away agent, John Serra, then to the county’s office.

No one from the county returned KVEO’s interview requests. However, KVEO found audio from the last commissioner’s court meeting where Garza was heard questioning the trash service provider.

“Brush collection is once a month, is that something that can be expected from our residents that have this service or not?,” said Garza.

KVEO obtained the contract between Republic Services and Cameron County which states that they are obligated to pick up 10 cubic yards of brush in a non-disaster period every month.

So, why has Treviño’s been left for over two months?

The county later reached out to KVEO saying they were following up with Republic Services though they had no update at the time, and they would see what they could do for the Treviño family.

If you have any brush pick-up-related information for Iris Karami you can reach her at her Twitter, Facebook or email.

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