PHOENIX - With people spending more time at home, it also means more trash to get rid of, and if bulk trash is piling up at a neighborhood, there is a reason for it: collections are running a bit behind.
"Our bulk program alone, we're up 15% from this time last year, so just a lot more tonnage being put out because people are home," said Felipe Moreno, Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of Phoenix.
On any given day, there would be 26 crews working but as demand has risen, so has the workload.
"With the extra 15% increase that we have seen, that's an extra 850 truckloads that we have to collect so now, we're seeing about 30 crews, six days a week," said Moreno. "Working Saturdays, working 10 hours a day at times. It's just a lot more demand on our operators."
The increases hitting the budget hard.
"Our overtime increase is obvious, because of the increase in demand with the same resources means we are working longer hours and working more days," said Moreno. "Also, in terms of our equipment maintenance, our garbage trucks are out there longer, running more miles. Fuel costs are increased because of that because we are running that extra day, extra hours, and then maintenance and the wear and tear on the trucks have increased. We do see budgetary impacts in terms of our overtime and maintaining our fleet."
Moreno is calling for everyone in Phoenix to do their part, especially with the bulk pickups, reminding residents to not mix hazardous material into the bulk pickup.