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Cities Across Inland Empire Experiencing Trash Pick-Up Delays

Waste Management Media Room
Picture displaying lines of Waste Management trucks.

This summer, cities across the Inland Empire have been experiencing trash and recycling pick-up delays.

The City of Riverside and many others such as Corona, Chino, and Moreno Valley have all been experiencing delays.

Nathan Mustafa is a Deputy Public Works Director with the City of Riverside and told me, "Crews are really doing just an outstanding job of servicing our routes to the best of their capabilities during this time. So not everyone's trash will be delayed, but we are asking that residents be mindful that they may experience a delay."

SWANA, The Solid Waste Association of North America.
Portrait of David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Currently, Riverside is experiencing pick-up delays between 24 and 48 hours. Mustafa largely equated those delays to staffing shortages adding, "We're trying to bring multiple folks on board, and there are good opportunities to serve the community through our solid waste division, and we're working very aggressively with our HR team to bring more staff on board."

But it's not just the Inland Empire experiencing shortages. David Biderman is the Executive Director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). He told me the staffing shortages have been popping up across the U.S. Biderman said, "It is certainly Covid-related in several respects, at the same time, many people are working from home, and the amount of trash and recycling being generated is larger than normal."

Biderman added that the solid waste industry has been experiencing driver shortages over the past decade. "We are encouraging local governments and private sector haulers to be creative and innovative in how they attract and retain workers."

The City of Riverside is actively recruiting new drivers and hopes the shortages will end soon.

Jonathan Linden is a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and had previously interned for the station in the Spring of 2019. Outside of KVCR, Jonathan also interned for KALW in San Francisco, KFI in Burbank, and Radio HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.