The City of Omaha's trash collector, Waste Management, is facing steep fines for failing to keep contractual obligations.
The service is being fined for the second month in a row for not picking up trash in a timely and complete manner. Penalties include a $28,454 fine due to excessive complaints.
The city calculated the fine with a formula using the number of complaints and the number of collection days in the month. There's also a $44,000 fine for Waste Management's failure to provide a separate yard waste collection, which would send the waste to the city's composting facility.
"In June, the City assessed a $27,633.90 fine based on 1,875 complaints; 1,227 garbage and recycling and 648-yard waste complaints," a release from the city stated.
That's in addition to $27,634 in fines Mayor Jean Stothert announced last month.
In March, Waste Management said it needed 97 drivers in Omaha to efficiently pick-up yard waste separately and ensure timely collection.
Monday afternoon, Waste Management told 3 News Now it currently has 74 drivers on staff to assist with garbage and yard waste/recyclables pick-up in Omaha.
The company held a hiring fair recently and are in the process of training 12 new CDL drivers. Waste Management is also offering a $6,500 sign-on bonus for CDL hires.
Moving forward the company said it plans to have more men on the street to ensure successful completion of contractual obligations.
"Since Waste Management began servicing the Omaha contract through the Deffenbaugh Industries acquisition, we have made exhaustive efforts to provide the best service possible to the residents of Omaha and meet the service requirements of this contract," Waste Management said in a written statement. "Unfortunately, those efforts are not yielding the expected results due to the qualified driver supply here in Omaha as well as the challenging contract service requirements due to the antiquated solid waste program.
"We apologize for any service interruptions while we continue efforts to recruit drivers and provide the best service possible for the residents of Omaha," the statement reads.