ATTLEBORO, MA (WLNE) – Residents of Attleboro have complained about a serious slowdown in garbage collection.
Often, “trash day” now occurs a few days late.
According to Waste Management, the city’s recycling and garbage collection company, they are experiencing serious staff shortages – primarily a lack of CDL licensed truck drivers.
The situation has gotten so bad in Bristol County that Waste Management has even written a letter to Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux, which is now posted on the city’s website.
“Waste and recycling issues are something my predecessor warned me would be the most frequently reported problem in the city,” Mayor Heroux told ABC6, “and he was right”.
In its letter, Waste Management apologized to residents and explained that they have held several job fairs to find employees – even offering incentives such as signing bonuses, referral bonuses and additional benefits, but few people signed up.
In neighboring Norton, Waste Management says they were only able to fill 6 of 11 open truck driver positions after a series of job fairs and incentives.
But the company lacks more than truck drivers.
“They also have difficulty bringing in mechanics to repair certain trucks,” explained Mayor Heroux.
“They have an entire fleet that needs to be serviced every day and sometimes they just can’t get that many trucks out on the streets.”
As Waste Management apologizes to residents, Attleboro’s health department is also warning of an increase in rats in the city.
The ministry has also drafted a letter which can be viewed on the city’s website. He says “shorter, warmer winters contribute to longer breeding seasons” for rodents.
The ministry has published advice on how to deal with the increasing rat population and how to seal entryways to prevent them from entering homes.
While the rodent problem is not unique to Attleboro, it is also not helped by the waste situation.
Waste Management says it is training its new group of employees and hopes they will be able to join the workforce and ease some of the delays by mid-August.