From The Tribune staff reports
SPRINGVILLE — The city of Springville’s City Council voted Monday night to open bids on garbage pickup.
Some residents in Springville, Argo and Odenville have recently reported they have gone without pickup for two to three weeks, although they have continued to pay for the service. Springville Mayor Dave Thomas said he is one of those that have experienced issues.
Waste Management, the company that picks up garbage as part of a current contract with Springville and the other impacted cities, said the problem is a shortage of workers.
Mike Mitchell, the Public Sector Representative with Waste Management, said the company is the largest garbage pickup company in the nation, by far.
“If we’re having problems finding labor, helpers to be on the back of the truck, everyone else is, too,” said Mitchell.
The company released the following statement last week:
“Waste Management is dedicated to taking care of our customers. Nationally, Waste Management and the rest of the waste industry compete in a labor market that has a shortage of CDL drivers and technicians. As many areas are opening, we have a need to add skilled team members to our WM family. WM provides full-time employees and their families with comprehensive medical benefits, a generous 401(k) plan and an Employee Stock Purchase Plan that allows employees to buy WM stock at a minimum 15% discount. WM’s new benefit program, Your Tomorrow, in collaboration with Guild Education, is the first-of-its-kind program providing WM employees, as well as their eligible dependents, the opportunity to choose from a full range of education options, including earning a college degree, at no cost to the employee.”
During the City Council’s workshop Monday, some councilors expressed other concerns with how the company operates. Mitchell answered questions about automatic arms on trucks. Mitchell said the technology is to address safety issues.
“Every quarter and I’d like to just say every year, but it’s every quarter, someone on the back of a garbage truck is killed,” Mitchell explained.
Sealed bids will be received until 2 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2021, for the city of Springville. You can view the contract documents below.
The city of Argo is also in the process of discussing contracted garbage services. Argo Mayor Betty Bradley said her own garbage has not been picked up for three weeks.
If you are interested in working at Waste Management, view current job openings, on the WM Careers website – https://careers.wm.com.