ST. LOUIS — In a dramatic move, St. Louis trash commissioner Todd Waelterman was escorted from his office Thursday. Sources told FOX 2 he was placed on leave.

The action was reportedly taken because of all the turmoil over the lack of trash pickup in city neighborhoods. Communities from one end of St. Louis to the other are stuck with rising bags of trash in containers that have been there for weeks with no answer from City Hall.

FOX 2’s You Paid For It investigator Elliott Davis talked to several aldermen. One said he thought the mayor was making Waelterman the scapegoat for the problem. Another agreed he had to go.

St. Louis City Alderman Brandon Bosley shared his thoughts about the situation.

“I think the mayor is making a proactive decision to try to what she can do, particularly to enhance her ability to insure that services are rendered all over the city with her administration,” said Bosley. “Waelterman has been there for a very long time. I think he served the city well for what it is that he has done. The Mayor’s Office is saying at this particular point in time, it’s time for her administration to step it up in the way that they like to see services rendered.”

Alderman Joe Vaccaro also weighed in, saying he thought Waelterman was being made a scapegoat. He said there was no way Waelterman was responsible for all the city’s trash woes.

Residents have been pleading for relief. Part of the problem, according to the administration, is a staff shortage. Another is equipment breakdown.

Mayor Tishuara Jones’ administration said they’re trying to put measures in place to address those issues. For one, they’re offering a $3,000 bonus for workers in the trash department.

As for Waelterman, he remains on leave for now. We’re told it’s with pay. Mayor Jones’ administration wouldn’t comment on the Waelterman issue, saying they can’t comment on personell matters.

FOX 2 also reached out to Waelterman, who declined to comment.