Starting Monday, June 1, the city will resume weekly yard waste collections, Mayor Linda Gorton announced today.
“We’re taking a big step forward,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “It’s exciting to have our normal yard waste service back. Summer is here, and we need to be able to dispose of yard waste properly.”
Yard waste collections were suspended March 23 because of the danger posed by the COVID-19 epidemic. The City is now cautiously optimistic that, with the public’s help, it can collect yard waste safely. Beginning in June, residences with City service will again have their gray yard waste carts serviced each week on the same day as their trash and recycling carts.
“Thanks to our Waste Management employees. It has not been easy to work through this pandemic, but they’ve done it, continuing to collect waste and recyclables,” Gorton said.
Unlike trash and recycling carts, which are mostly emptied by mechanical arms on the collection trucks, yard waste collections are done by crew members, who roll carts to the truck, touching both the cart’s handle and lid. “That made it difficult to provide the service and protect our employees,” Gorton said.
Since the virus struck our city, the Division of Waste Management has been working to secure appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies to allow for safe operation of the yard waste service.
“We have implemented several practices to allow for weekly cleaning of all trucks, inside and outside,” said Nancy Albright, Commissioner of Environmental Quality and Public Works. “We have a steady supply of the types of PPE needed for employees, allowing us to resume regular service.”
In rolling their carts to the curb, Gorton urged citizens to protect Waste Management employees and themselves. Wipe down the handle and lid after placing the cart next to the curb, and then wipe the handle and lid down again before returning the cart back to your home.
“The Division of Waste Management appreciates everyone’s patience as we navigate these new working conditions and follow all safety measures to keep our employees protected,” said Waste Management Director Tracey Thurman. “As spring progresses, the men and women of our division are looking forward to providing full-service, including yard waste collections.”