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At the expense of Omicron, there is a pile of garbage and recyclables | Nationwide

Nashville, Tennessee (AP) —Omicron variants are sickening so many sanitary workers across the United States that some cities delay or suspend garbage collection and recycling collections. It has to anger residents who are shocked that the government is unable to perform this most basic function.

The slowdown debilitates Christmas gift boxes and wrapping paper-filled trash cans with Nashville curbs, trash bags pile up on the streets of Philadelphia, and uncollected garden trash (grass cutouts, leaves, branches). It is blocking the sidewalk in Atlanta.

“That’s just a shame,” said Madeline Rubin, who lives in Jacksonville, Florida, where authorities have stopped recycling.

“You know that if they want, they can find the money to do it. If it’s the business they wanted to come here, they have the money to make it happen. Will be thrown away. “

Cities including Atlanta, Nashville and Louisville are so short-lived that they temporarily stop collecting recyclable bottles, cans, paper and plastic, garden trash, oversized junk, etc. and focus on the coarser and odorous ones. increase. Delays are more than annoying to the inhabitants and cause problems such as clogged storm drains and sidewalk blockages.

Freddie O’Connell, a member of the Nashville City Council, was just as surprised as his members when he was notified that the city had stopped recycling curbs before Christmas.

“I was surprised that there were no alternatives or backup plans. There is no hotline for people with movement disorders or those who do not have reliable access to cars,” he said. Drop-off site.

“It feels like a failure of governance,” he added.

The garbage crisis is actually one-third of a pandemic. The first thing that happened was in the spring of 2020, when COVID-19 became established in the United States, the problem recurred due to the surge in delta variants in the summer.

In December, the North American Solid Waste Association warned government officials and garbage carriers to “plan for a shortage now.”

A highly contagious variant was hit when Americans were producing large amounts of garbage during the Christmas holidays. Combining that with relatively low vaccination levels among frontline sanitary workers, you have a “perfect storm to delay collection,” said Association Managing Director David Byderman this week. Said.

In some communities, up to a quarter of the waste collection workforce is ill, Biderman said.

Garbage collection is just one of many basic services interrupted by Omicron. Around the United States, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and transportation workers have a number of illnesses.

“Calls, emails, everything has arrived. People are naturally frustrated,” said Liliana Baftiari, a member of the Atlanta City Council.

Atlanta officials said Monday that due to a labor shortage, recycling and garden waste will be collected “as personnel allow”.

Los Angeles said the collection of recyclables could be delayed throughout the month.

In Louisville, Kentucky, sanitary workers stopped picking up yard trash in early January until further notice. Residents can drop branches and cutouts at the Christmas tree collection site.

New York City, the world’s largest medic, had about 2,000 out of 7,000 workers due to the latest round of coronavirus, while the rest was long to get rid of untreated waste. I’m working hours. Their city has not stopped service.

Harry Nespoli, chairman of a local union representing the city’s sanitary workers, said some returned after quarantine and others tested positive for the virus.

Sometimes called in Philadelphia Filter Delphia According to street commissioner Carlton Williams, the condition of the street causes about 10% to 15% of the 900 sanitary workforce to go out on certain days, delaying waste collection.

“When people are out, we can’t just hire them to replace them,” he said. “We must give them time to rejuvenate.”

To prevent piles of garbage, some municipalities hire temporary workers or contract with private carriers. Some offer signature or retention bonuses or salary increases.

Chattanooga, Tennessee has raised the driver’s starting salary by more than 40%, from just over $ 31,500 to $ 45,000.

This allowed the city to suspend recycling collections in July and then resume recycling collections in November, allowing regular collections to continue despite the surge in Omicron, spokesman Mary Besui Card said. I am saying.

Copyright 2022 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

At the expense of Omicron, there is a pile of garbage and recyclables | Nationwide

Source link At the expense of Omicron, there is a pile of garbage and recyclables | Nationwide

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