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Fort Wayne again asking for patience over garbage collection; state code change clears next hurdle

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Red River Waste Solutions
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Two weeks after the City of Fort Wayne announced a "reset" to get garbage and recycling collection back on its normal schedule, the city is again asking for patience over missed pickups across the community.

In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, the city says it is "doing our best to maintain operational levels for solid waste and recycling collection," while citing Red River's ongoing bankruptcy and national labor shortages as additional, compounding problems.

The city reaffirms that city employees are sacrificing nights and weekends to cover the misses. Eight trucks are being used during these pickups:

  • 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

An effort is being made to hire part-time drivers to help return city employees to their normal work, but a learning curve for those drivers could still lead to some misses or pickup delays.
According to the statement, the city has also been in contact with five garbage and recycling haulers for extra help, but only one has stepped forward "because all the providers are dealing with the same worker shortage Red River, and the entire nation, is dealing with."

Residents are asked to continue putting their garbage and recycling outside for their scheduled pickup day.

At the Statehouse, the measure that would give local municipalities more control over the selection of solid waste contracts passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday. The bill now heads to Governor Eric Holcomb for final approval.

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