Trash collection faces delays with almost half of Waste Management drivers in quarantine | News

Garbage collection in Sonora and Tuolumne Counties may be delayed between one and five days through the end of the year, as nearly half of the waste management’s dump truck drivers are currently under COVID-19 quarantine.

Paul Rosynsky, Oakland Waste Management spokesman, said in an email on Monday that the delays in maintenance until the end of 2020 were due to the “uncertainties of COVID-19 and its impact on our workforce,” particularly due to the lack of available, could stop drivers.

“The waste management industry is still collecting garbage, but it may be delayed by a few days,” he said. “We have set up roll-off bins throughout the community to give customers more disposal options. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank the customers for their understanding.” . ”

Waste management serves around 14,000 customers in Tuolumne County.

As a result of the delays, Thanksgiving holiday weekend litter is piling up in dumpsters and two-wheeled dumpsters outside homes and in neighborhoods across the county.

Some fear that trash buildup could turn from a nuisance to a public health problem as many people are either quarantined at home or seek refuge on site.

“We were supposed to be picked up on Tuesday and we didn’t have it picked up until Saturday,” said Cynthia Francis of the Phoenix Lake Country Club Estate Owners Association. “The stuff is all in the cans.” and of course people are still making trash so the cans are overflowing and the lids are all open. The raccoons will climb in there and have lunch. It’s a mess if they do that. If this continues, it will eventually happen. “

The garbage build-up is another consequence of the knock-on effect of the worsening COVID-19 crisis in the county, which has seen a resurgent and unprecedented increase in positive cases in recent weeks. The boom has made the county, along with dozens of others, the heaviest level of the color-coded reopening system (purple) in California, affecting local trade as well as traditionally reliable utility services.

Governor Gavin Newsom warned Monday that due to the increase in cases and the possibility that the state hospital system could meet its capacity for intensive care beds, he may reintroduce a stay-at-home order across the state. Nationwide, around 75% of intensive care beds are now full, with a significant portion coming from COVID-19 cases.

Some customers have received notifications since last week telling them that the household services have been postponed. Delayed communities and new service dates were identified in the notifications.

Francis said her household only had two people and there was still room in their trash cans, but she was watching some homes being challenged for garbage space within the community.

“You can go up and down Phoenix Lake Road, it happens anywhere,” she said. “It’s another one of those beautiful things for 2020. We have to come due.”

Francis said individual homes in the area have waste management accounts for garbage collection. There are more than 300 homes in the association, and the owners are all members, but membership varies based on occupancy and ownership, she said.

Rosynsky said in an email on Monday that nearly half of drivers have been quarantined under CDC guidelines in the Cal Sierra Waste Management area, which serves Sonora and Tuolumne Counties through contracts with local governments.

“The waste management is working ASAP to safely collect all garbage with limited drivers,” he said. “We cannot collect all of the rubbish in the county as planned. We still hope we have our full rubbish.” driver again soon. “

Waste management drivers must follow COVID-19 procedures that meet local, state, and federal requirements, Rosynsky said.

“All employees must wear appropriate PPE, including face masks, wash their hands regularly, keep their hands at least two meters away, and be constantly reminded to stay home if they feel sick,” he said Points are routinely cleaned, including Truck cabins. “

The waste management calls on customers with an urgent need for waste to bring their waste into roll-off containers that are distributed throughout the district (see box for details).

Customers can access their online accounts to change settings for notifications related to service delays, and they can also call the transportation district to receive a voucher for a free drop-off at the Waste Management Transfer Station, located in 19309 Industrial Dr. located in Sonora.

Other waste management companies in the county, including Burns Refuse Service and Moore Bros. Scavenger Service, have no contract with Waste Management and use the transfer station.

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