TRASH, TRASH, TRASH: City of Amarillo continues struggle with garbage collection

The City of Amarillo continues its struggle to deal with a growing trash problem all over the city. In response to challenges including employee shortages, the Solid Waste Department is implementing several new procedures to address trash service.

“The Solid Waste Department is facing challenges right now, primarily a shortage of drivers due in part to illness,” said COA Director of Public Works Donny Hooper. “These new initiatives will help with trash pick-up.”

Beginning Saturday, rolloff containers will be placed at locations throughout the city to provide residents with a convenient drop-off option for trash. Locations include Amarillo Public Library facilities.

The city is shifting numerous employees from separate departments to assist in trash pick-up, including crews from the COA Street Department and the COA Drainage Utility Department.

Amarillo will begin the process of temporarily using local solid waste companies to aid in trash service. These will be temporary contracts.

Residents with dumpster service will continue to receive trash pickup service once a week. Residents with previous service on Mondays and Thursdays each week will be serviced on Monday or Tuesday. Residents with previous service on Tuesdays and Fridays will receive service on Thursday or Friday.

There is no change in service for residents with polycart and hand collection routes or for commercial collection routes.

“Our goal is to provide excellent customer service with all available staff,” said COA Director of Public Works Donny Hooper. “One collection a week on a temporary basis for routes with dumpsters is the best solution to improve our level of service under the staffing conditions we are currently experiencing. This is the most effective solution to resolve missed service.”

The COA Solid Waste Department has 69,000 residential accounts – by far the largest category for trash removal. In order to be fully-staffed to service these residential accounts, 42 personnel are needed. The city currently has 20 staffers to service these 69,000 residential accounts - less than half of what is required for regular residential service.

“A temporary once-a-week schedule for residential customers allows us to cover all residential dumpster routes every week, as well as maintain the other services provided for commercial pickup, poly carts and hand collection routes,” Hooper said.

The COA Public Works Department is accepting applications for commercial truck drivers. For more information call (806) 378-6813.

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