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Rising COVID 19 cases affecting trash collection in Fort Wayne

Red River Waste Solutions

COVID-19 is impacting garbage and recycling collection around Fort Wayne this week.

Positive cases among both Red River and City of Fort Wayne employees have risen significantly over the last week; 32% of Red River drivers are out sick, while city staffing is currently down 20%. According to a city spokesperson, this has resulted in garbage collection being one-and-a-half to two days behind.

Despite its recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Red River remains Fort Wayne’s contracted solid waste services provider. City employees have been assigned to provide supplemental collection, but both are experiencing labor shortages as COVID-19 and the omicron variant continue to surge.

Residents are asked to continue putting garbage and recycling out on their scheduled day as both parties navigate the issue.

Fort Wayne City Council is slated to discuss a resolution, in collaboration with Mayor Tom Henry, that lobbies the state to reconsider its practices for bidding on garbage collection contracts. That will take place tonight at 5:30 at Citizens Square.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.