Here’s Why Warrensburg Isn’t Doing Bulk Pick Up During Fall Clean-Up
Recently I wrote an opinion piece expressing frustration generally about Warrensburg's garbage collection problems and specifically about how the City decided not to do bulk pick up during the fall Citywide clean-up. (You can read that here.) At the end of the piece, I posed some questions. Warrensburg's new City Manager Danielle Dulin kindly took some time Saturday morning to explain to me what's going on and how the City is trying to solve those issues.
Why Bulk Pick Up Was Cancelled this Fall
City Manager Dulin told me in an email that the City bids the brush pick-up and the bulk heavy item pick up separately. And for the last several pickups, the only bidder has been Heartland Waste. Earlier in the year, Heartland Waste canceled all individual bulky item pickups. Then were sold to Republic Services.
Meanwhile, the City had already advertised the bulky item and brush pick up earlier this year before the current challenges presented themselves.
Dulin told me that the City's rebidding the bulk pick-up now probably wouldn't result in any new bidders because there is a labor shortage issue in the solid waste industry. Her hope is that the labor shortage will resolve by the spring and more companies will be interested in bidding for the project.
As for having Republic Services do it now? The City has a concern that having Republic handle bulk pick-ups right now would create more delays in people getting their regular garbage picked up.
Warrensburg's Garbage Challenges During the Transition from Heartland Waste to Republic Services
Regarding the challenges Warrensburg has faced since Republic Services bought Heartland Waste. Dulin says the City has been working with Republic to help identify neighborhoods and subdivisions that are repeatedly having their garbage pick-ups missed (not just delayed.)
Additionally, the City asked Republic Services to set up a dedicated email address for former Heartland Waste customers. That address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And the City has a meeting scheduled with representatives from Republic Services next week to discuss the solid waste services in Warrensburg. Dulin again points to a shortage in trash collection labor/drivers as part of the problem. And points out Warrensburg isn't the only community dealing with the problem, it's nationwide. She says the City will continue to work towards a solution.