How COVID-19 is affecting the way your trash is picked up

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, and that includes the way your trash is picked up.

Solid Waste services about 150,000 households in Raleigh a week, so that’s about one million touchpoints that need to be limited during social distancing.

At the City of Raleigh Yard Waste Center on New Hope Road, things have been quiet, but that’s by design.

“You get a lot of people coming through here, and we’re doing financial transactions, it causes a lot of exposure and touchpoints,” said Solid Waste Services director Stan Joseph.

Raleigh Solid Waste director Stan Joseph says he made the call to suspend activity at the Yard Waste Center along with curbside collections to meet the demands of stay at home orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Garbage volume has increased tremendously at homes,” said Joseph. “As a result that is slowing our crews down.”

After a recent storm dropped debris across the city Joseph has had to rethink his stance on picking up leftover limbs.

“The winds were high,” said Joseph. “A lot of branches came down, and people are going to spend today and this weekend cleaning that up and pushing that stuff to the curb.”

The city has to maintain their suspension of yard waste collection due to social distancing requirements, but they believe using one-man crews in boom trucks they can complete a curbside sweep.

“The equipment that we’re going to be using for the storm debris is specifically designed to pick up larger limbs, tree branches, and those sorts of things,” said Joseph.

That trash will be taken to the center and turned into compost, but there are restrictions on what they can collect.

“We’re not going to be able to pick up bags of leaves, and bags of grass,” said Joseph. “We won’t be able to pick up the containers. We’ll eventually get to those, so just hang onto them.”

Curbside debris cleanup will begin Thursday, April 16.

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