OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert's office said there were 7,500 missed solid waste collections during the first three days after the city's transition to new garbage contractor FCC Environmental.
As to what led to missed collections, the city said a significant number of homes are now receiving special collection services. Special collection services are offered to people over 70 years of age or those with medical disabilities who may have trouble moving their garbage to standard pickup zones. Prior to the changeover, the city was handling about 2,400 special collection requests and now said it is now handling more than 6,000.
The city's release also said the following is contributing to collection delays:
- Construction at the Firstar Fiber Recycling Company has increased wait times for FCC drivers to deliver recyclables to Firstar for processing
- Residents who are still using cans rather than the new carts
- Yard waste bags without pre-paid stickers
To address the delay and to prevent further inconveniences to customers, the city says the following steps will be taken:
- Additional trucks and drivers will be deployed to increase the number of collection routes and special collection services
- FCC will add Saturday collection to the schedule this week
- Beginning tomorrow, December 3, Under the Sink (4001 S. 120th Street) will accept used, empty trash cans and green recycling bins. This is in addition to the site already open at 5902 North 16th Street. FCC recommends the drop-off site options, rather than placing old cans and bins in carts to reduce the frequency of emptying trucks at the landfill. Under the Sink will be open for trash can and recycling bin drop-offs Tuesday-Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm. (Household hazardous waste will be accepted during current operating hours)
- Additional staff will be assigned to answer calls at the Solid Waste Hotline. Residents should report all missed collections to the hotline, 402-444-5238, and leave their carts on the curb for next-day pickup. The Solid Waste Hotline is experiencing very high call volume due to requests for additional carts and other questions related to the service changes. Reports can also be made to the Mayor's Hotline, 402-444-5555, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
- Approximately 1,000 of the 300,000 carts have not been delivered. The cart delivery contractor is following FCC collection trucks each day, delivering carts to those locations.
To help prevent delays, the city says residents can take the following steps:
- All trash, yard waste and recycling must be inside the carts provided by the city, trash bags left outside carts or in other trash cans cannot be collected
- Carts should be as close to the curb as possible and the arrows on the top of the cart are facing the street or alley
- Set out carts by 6:00 a.m. on your collection day. FCC has from 6:00am - 7:00pm to complete collections
- Carts should be spaced at least 18 inches apart and away from mailboxes and streetlights and other stationary objects that could interfere with collection
- Yard waste bags must be marked with the pre-paid stickers
- Review the FAQs provided in the special edition of Wasteline delivered with the carts. The information is also available on the Wasteline website https://wasteline.org/wastelinebrochures/cart-collection-overview/
At this time, a City of Omaha spokesperson says Wasteline, the hotline that handles calls regarding solid waste issues, is receiving "an extraordinary volume of calls from folks who have questions, want extra carts, special collections, etc."
- New solid waste collection system begins in Omaha on Monday
- New trash carts can't be used until November 30
- Mayor Stothert discusses waste and recycling transition
- Omaha City Council selects garbage contractor for the Metro