City

The pandemic delays have not been limited to Florida. Dozens of communities have experienced similar trouble. Atlanta began offering $500 signing bonuses to trash haulers, and garbage pickups were delayed in Denver. In Collingswood, N.J., just outside Philadelphia, municipal workers had to pick up the trash themselves earlier this summer after the borough’s waste hauler announced that it had no drivers: “We’re just not coming in,” the mayor said he was told.

In Jacksonville, the delays in waste hauling became so bad in late summer and early fall that piles could be seen all over town. The city prioritized trash when it could, but yard debris was left to linger.

On a recent afternoon, mounds of tree branches, palm fronds and grass cuttings spilled onto the road in several residential neighborhoods. Some heaps were as tall as small children. The waste was browning and settled into deep grooves in the ground. It was easy to see why people worried that the lingering waste might attract mosquitoes or vermin.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced a temporary suspension of curbside recycling this month so that city sanitation crews and private contractors would have more time to clear the backlog of trash and yard waste. That was after the city had tried to pick up the slack by paying employees from the parks, public works and fire departments nearly $100,000 in overtime to take extra shifts driving garbage trucks.

Mr. Curry, a Republican, said in a recent interview in his minimalist office in downtown Jacksonville that he did not come to the decision lightly and agreed to the suspension only once the city found collection sites for residents to drop off their recyclables.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/24/us/garbage-delays-labor-jacksonville-florida.html

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