Fairport woman: Piles of recyclables sit for three weeks, Waste Management facing delays

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FAIRPORT, WEBSTER N.Y. (WROC) — News 8 has been hearing reports of delays for trash and recycling pick-up in surrounding areas, like Webster and Fairport.

It happened to Bonnie Evans-Short of Fairport who faced a three week delay with her recycling.

“It looked horrible, didn’t represent Fairport really well,” she said.

Evans-Short spoke with News 8 on Friday, a day after Waste Management came to clear everything up.

Before that, the village had to step in and assist with their DPW crews.

Throughout the whole process, Evans-Short received text updates from the village on the matter, saying it’s a personnel related issue: lack of staffing, and nothing unique to Fairport.

“We’re kind of glad they’re updating us or else we wouldn’t know what’s going on, but at the same time as homeowners who pay a lot for their taxes, this is supposed to be included in it,” she said.

Evans-Short showed us a mark of dead grass where recyclables had been sitting for three weeks.

“This is a very clean, family friendly area, and we don’t want kids going out there and seeing the piles of trash,” she said.

Waste Management released the following statement to News 8:

Waste Management, like other solid waste companies throughout the country, has been impacted by the pandemic. For over a year—from March 2020 to June 2021—while New York was under a State Disaster Emergency, Waste Management continued to provide essential services to its municipal and residential customers. As the pandemic has continued, however, it has caused national, industry-wide labor and materials shortages. Specifically, the driver shortage is now at its highest level in more than a decade.  The Solid Waste Association of North America observes that “the pandemic has had substantial impact on the solid waste collection industry, including making it difficult for some companies to maintain service levels.”  In addition to a shortage of drivers there is a shortage of skilled mechanics. These manpower and material shortages (that affect getting parts for and maintaining our trucks), when coupled with increased residential waste volumes due to the pandemic and added seasonal volumes such as yard waste have created temporary service challenges.

Waste Management has taken affirmative steps throughout the pandemic to tackle driver shortages, to avoid or reduce the impact on its customers.  As part of its efforts, Waste Management has hosted multiple job fairs at our sites and is offering generous incentives such as sign-on bonuses; referral bonuses; and educational benefits including free tuition programs to employees and their families.  Information on current job openings can be found at the WM Careers website – https://careers.wm.com As a result of our recent hiring efforts, the Rochester operating district recently filled or replaced 25 CDL (Commercial Driver License) driver positions and those new employees are being onboarded and trained to begin servicing customers later this summer.

Waste Management will continue to work through the challenges of this pandemic to provide essential solid waste service to the municipalities and residents of New York. We just ask for patience as we continue to work through the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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