Omaha trash company adds drivers to catch up on waste collections

The changes will be in effect until trash collections catch up to scheduled pick-up times.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 12:43 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In response to a directive from Mayor Jean Stothert to solve its issue with trash collection delays in the city, FCC Environmental has added drivers and expanded its pick-up schedule.

According to an email sent Monday evening to Omaha residents experiencing trash pick-up delays Monday, FCC has extended driver schedules to include Saturday collection routes and has added drivers to Omaha routes “by relocating employees from other cities to assist,” effective immediately.

“FCC managers who are CDL certified will also be assigned to collection routes, and all drivers will work Saturdays to collect missed or rescheduled collections,” the email states.

The changes will be in effect until trash collections catch up to scheduled pick-up times.

The company has most recently been experiencing delays with yard waste pickup, which was itself delayed after FCC prioritized picking up carted garbage and recyclables in late October.

Omaha awarded its trash collection contract to FCC Environmental in 2020. The company added yard waste collection in 2021.

People have been complaining about the recent delays.

With the race on to get all of the leaves raked out of our yards before the first heavy snowfall, the city’s waste collector is making adjustments to keep up with the pace.

As Omaha residents line up bags of yard waste to be picked up, the removal has been running slow.

“We are seeing an increased call volume,” said Jim Kee, the quality-control manager for Omaha Public Works. “I just think that’s kind of normal when you have a bit of a lag in service.”

That lag in service is running out the clock; Omaha residents want to get as many bags picked up for free as they can.

“So we’re in week No. 4 of 6. So we will continue yard-waste collection for those bags at the curb through the final week of November. Basically, it will end on — December 2nd will be the last day of collection, that Friday.”

Omaha city officials tell 6 News the city’s waste collector is having trouble hiring workers and drivers, but they’re offering hiring bonuses — doing all they can to get the staff up in numbers.

City officials say they have seen improvements in service.

“What they’ve done is brought in drivers from other markets that they have throughout the United States; so they’re augmenting their staff with those drivers,” Kee said. “So they have the equipment — now they have the drivers.”

While pick-up times for yard waste and garbage are improving, city officials will keep an eye on the number of complaints.

“We haven’t issued any kind of penalty or any kind of fine to them at this point,” Kee said. “There are provisions in the contract where we could access penalties if they exceed that complaint count or service issues are more than allowed in the contract.”

After the free yard-waste collection period ends, residents can put yard waste in their garbage bins or pay for a sticker to be put on brown bags.