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Labor shortage delaying yard waste and recycling collection may be easing

Grand Blanc Township recycling pick-up resumes this week, as Emterra says they are back to full strength
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) - Delayed or canceled trash and recycling pickups have been plaguing Genesee County residents for much of this spring.

Household waste removal companies like Emterra and Republic Services have blamed the delays on labor shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But they soon may return to full operations.

Grand Blanc Township Supervisor Scott Bennett said their recycling service will resume this week. That’s welcome news for Ronnie Lofton, who set out his recycling for pickup four or five times only to find it still sitting there days later.

“It’s frustrating because it builds up. If you are a real recycling person, it builds up a lot,” he said. “I’m better off just throwing it in the trash.”

Bennett understands Lofton’s and other residents’ frustration over the ongoing delays.

“I know that right now many other communities here in Genesee County are seeing delays in everything from recycling to garbage not being picked up due to staff shortages,” he said. “And it’s not just Emterra. It’s other companies as well.”

Bennett said the good news is, service will soon be back on track.

“We received word today, just a short time ago from Emterra that they are back up to full strength,” he said.

After being disappointed with the service over the past month, Lofton is taking a wait-and-see approach before bringing his recycling to the curb.

“Because I just don’t trust it,” he said. “I have to see that they do come, then I’ll start back doing it.”

Recycling pick-up will start back up in Grand Blanc Township on Thursday -- a day later than normal due to the Memorial Day holiday. However, it may take till next week to get back to being fully operational.

Some communities have given up on the service and made other arrangements for their residents.

Republic Services issued the following statement to ABC12 News on Tuesday:

“As of May 31, Republic Services was up to date with yard waste collections in Flint. While services are not being suspended, there may be delays in collecting yard waste for the next several months. We ask that residents continue to put their yard waste, trash and recycling out on their scheduled days and leave materials out until they are collected.”

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