February 22, 2022 - The City of Fort Wayne today provided an update on solid waste services.
As we navigate through the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings involving Red River, in tandem with the nationwide labor shortage, we are doing our best to maintain operational levels for solid waste and recycling collection. We are actively utilizing City staff to assist with the routes and misses that Red River is unable to service with their lower staffing levels.
At this time, we have eight garbage trucks that the City operates during normal work hours as follows:
- Two trucks owned by the City Solid Waste Department and driven by Solid Waste Department employees
- Two trucks owned by the Parks & Recreation Department and driven by Parks & Recreation employees
- Four trucks leased by the Solid Waste Department and driven by personnel from the Public Works Division’s Street Department, Traffic Operations and Fleet Department
As often as possible, these employees also collect garbage and recyclables in the evening and on weekends.
The top priority remains getting garbage collected in a timely manner. Recycling collection continues but is a second priority behind garbage collection, in part, due to Red River’s staffing level challenges.
The City of Fort Wayne is in the process of hiring seasonal truck drivers to assist with garbage and recycling collection in the event that the City personnel we’ve pulled away from their regular tasks have to temporarily return to perform essential tasks that can’t be postponed.
Unfortunately, the supplemental, temporary drivers are only part-time route drivers who haven’t had the extensive training or experience most garbage collectors receive and therefore their progress is slower.
We have requested assistance from five other garbage/recycling haulers in the area, and are in constant communication with them. So far, only one provider was able to assist for a short period of time before the snow storm because all the providers are dealing with the same worker shortage Red River, and the entire nation, is dealing with.
More than anything, we would like to provide our residents with a pick-up schedule, but with the circumstances listed above, this is not an easy task. Instead, we ask that residents continue
to set out garbage and recycling materials the night before their regularly scheduled day of pick-up. We will do our best to provide the collection service as close to their regular day as possible.
We ask our residents to continue to be patient as we navigate through this bankruptcy process. We expect to have a new hauler by July 1, 2022.