FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Imagine taking your trash to the curb and no one picking it up, especially in hot weather. Thousands of Cumberland County residents who thought they were being annexed say it literally stinks.
Greg Millage is like thousands of Cumberland County residents. He has two trash cans -- one for the city and one for the county -- but no one is picking up his garbage.
"That stuff's been sitting over the week and the Fourth of July and that stuff is really smelly. It stinks. It's real bad," Millage said.
The city of Fayetteville planned to annex 40 neighborhoods. However, some residents took the city to court and eventually got the state Court of Appeals to issue a stay. Annexation is on hold, and many residents are left holding the bag.
The city will not pick up trash in the neighborhoods because, technically, it is still considered the county. Residents of the affected neighborhoods said they already canceled their contracts with private haulers because they assumed they would be city residents by now.
Now, some people rehired private haulers, while others haul the trash to the dump themselves. In many cases, residents have to travel more than 5 miles.
"Here's a family, comes home after working, both a wife and a husband, and now they got to get the garbage together, get it to there before 7 o'clock or find another day to take it," county resident C.V. Harned said.
The state Court of Appeals could lift the stay any time. To help those residents, the county has extended dumping drop-off hours until 7 p.m.