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Trash Haulers Seeing Increased Volume during Pandemic
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The COVID-19 pandemic has created issues for area trash haulers. The amount of residential trash pickup has increased significantly during the pandemic, according to representatives of two local haulers.

            Increased volume for Whitetail Disposal is 25 percent. For Waste Management, the figure is 20 percent across the board.

            "It's been a significant challenge," said Paul Brady, the COO of Whitetail Disposal, which is headquartered on Route 663 in New Hanover.

            Residents forced to avoid school, work and restaurants are generating more trash than usual. The increase is driven by more people eating and working at home, according to John Hambrose, a community relations coordinator for Waste Management.

            The unusually large volume has led to several Whitetail trash trucks reaching their maximum capacity, according to Brady. He said the company was forced Tuesday to switch out four trucks that "packed out."

            According to Brady, the company has picked up significantly more bulks items during the pandemic than before. He said the company, which serves East Greenville, utilizes separate trucks for the larger items.

            "We never changed our service," Brady said. "Some of our bigger competition has made some changes."

            Waste Management, which is contracted to serve Pennsburg and Red Hill, suspended bulk pickup in March according to Hambrose. He said the company reinstated it earlier this month.

            The increased volume of trash has created increased costs for both companies. The additional collection has led to a hike in Whitetail's cost of dumping at a landfill, according to Brady.

            Besides the higher disposal expense, Hambrose says the collection has also led to additional truck time and impacted his company's labor costs.

            Both said the increased volume could affect their companies' future negotiations with both boroughs. Waste Management is currently contracted to serve Pennsburg and Red Hill through the end of 2021.

            Whitetail's agreement with East Greenville expires at the same time. Borough officials will rebid its contract during the middle of next year, according to an email message from Manager Jim Fry.

            Concerns over coronavirus have forced the New Hanover firm to follow significant protocols. According to Brady, the company sprays down each of its trucks every evening. He said the handles are wiped down, and that each employee is given two sets of gloves and a mask every day for work.

            "Even though the situation is more difficult, our guys have done a great job," Brady said. "They respect the fact that their jobs are considered essential."






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