On March 2, Ty Taber, who heads the company that began providing curbside recycling services for the Rim country five months ago, announced that service would be suspended for two weeks while the company reorganized. Service, he said, would resume March 14 or 15.
That deadline has come and gone, and the company is still not prepared to resume curbside pick-ups for the 400 or so local customers who each paid $19.20 for a year of recycling service.
"We're reorganizing our routes and we'll be up and running next week, or the week after at the latest," said Dick Taber, Ty's father and a spokesman for Arizona Recycling Curbside Specialists.
Ty Taber was out of town this week and unavailable for comment.
But Marie Fritz, the company's lone employee in the Rim country, said she's tried in vain to contact the Tabers for the past two weeks.
"I've left a number of messages for them to try to find out what's going on," she said Wednesday afternoon, "and they haven't called back."
That silence from the head office, she said, left her wanting for an explanation to give worried customers. So Wednesday morning, on the day the company was scheduled to resume service, Fritz recorded a message on the company's local line that said, "Well, I haven't heard a peep from the guys in Phoenix, so I'm afraid our Payson curbside recycling effort is dead."
Taber said that's incorrect.
"I called and listened to her message," Taber said, "and I can tell you it is totally false. We're not shutting down."
The company's Phoenix phone number connects to a message that says the date the company will resume service "will be posted in the newspaper."
Nevertheless, town officials who endorsed the recycling program are worried by the company's performance record.
"We are having as much trouble as everybody else finding out what's going on," Jeff Durbin, town water resource specialist, said.
Taber, however, vowed that the company's Rim country customers will get their money's worth.
"The people who have paid for a full year of service will get it," he said. "We'll just tack the balance on at the end. We made a commitment, and we're going go to stick by it."