Leesburg Wrestles with Trash Troubles

Town residents may have noticed that trash and recycling pickup has been a bit inconsistent lately. Both members of the Public Works staff and the town’s trash and recycling contractor are owning up to the recent difficulties and hoping to make the process more efficient.

Renee LaFollette, director of public works and capital projects, explained that the town’s previous contract through CSI was sold to Environ Solutions Incorporated a few months ago.

“When ESI took over the contract they had a larger than expected amount of turnover in the staff. With that goes a lot of experienced drivers that know the routes, a lot of experienced rear load operators that know the job,” she said. “Couple that with starting the contract in November and going into three major holidays, with cold weather, rainy weather, it’s a recipe for a not-so-good contract.”

Many residents have taken to social media, called or emailed the town staff to complain that their trash and recycling pick-ups were taking longer than anticipated, or not being picked up at all.

LaFollette said when ESI took over the contract it ran routes in the neighborhoods in a different order than the previous contractor, meaning some residents who didn’t have their trash or recycling out early enough missed pickups. Or, those who were used to early pickups instead were still seeing their refuse at the curb after sunset.

“By our contract they’re allowed to pick up from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. What we’ve been trying to get out to residents via [social media] is they have all day to collect the trash. Town Code says to have it out [by the curb] by 6 a.m.,” LaFollette said.

She said town staff is trying to re-educate the public on trash and recycling pickups, and what is allowed per the town’s contract. The re-education campaign may need to begin anew in the summer, as the town is bidding out its trash and recycling for a new five-year contract, which would take effect July 1.

The council has supported keeping twice weekly trash pickup and once weekly recycling pickup for town residences. Town staff is also exploring whether the town can afford equipping each single-family residential unit with a 64-gallon toter for recycling, to avoid the problems of recycling blowing onto the streets or into yards.

For more information on trash and recycling pick-up in town, or to report an issue, go to leesburgva.gov/government/departments/public-works.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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