Fewer workers, more yard waste: Flint crews helping Republic Services catch up

City helping collect yard waste while Republic Services deals with a worker shortage
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The city of Flint is taking action to clean up piles of residential yard waste around the city.

Republic Services has a contract to collect trash, recycling and yard waste from all homes in the city. The company has fallen behind on yard waste, blaming an increase in the amount being disposed as people work in their yards this spring and a shortage of workers due to a national problem.

Many residents around Flint say they have been experienced a long wait for their yard waste to be picked up.

“I know on Friday morning we used to get garbage pickup some days. I would get off work, you know, the garbage will still be there,” said Timothy Abdul-Matin of Flint.

He knew there were issues with trash pickup due to the lack of manpower. Abdul-Matin expects the city will still continue to have a long wait for trash pickup, but he hopes the younger generation starts to step up to the plate and apply for the job.

“They can’t hire people, then that’s gonna be more of a heavier load on the people, that’s already working, which means we might have to have, more hours of wait before we get our garbage picked up,” he said. “So I don’t expect that to change.”

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neely said he put a few crews together to pick up yard waste in areas where Republic Services couldn’t reach for the next few days.

“Right now we want to make sure that quality of life is not diminished by having your waste in front of people’s homes for longer periods of time and so we engage the partnership of our engagement, to be able to enhance our experience here as residents inside the city of Flint,” he said.

Neely said the city has about five crews out helping pick up the yard waste throughout the city. He thanked residents for continuing to be patient and the city crews for stepping up to help.

Republic Services will be reimbursing the city $32,000 for the help with collecting yard waste. Company officials say they are grateful for the partnership with the city during this challenging time.

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