Extra trash, yard waste in Virginia Beach as so many people stay home

Public Works crews out on the street
Posted at 1:56 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 13:39:46-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Extra trash and yard waste put a strain on the city of Virginia Beach, according to officials.

“Public Works is really a big umbrella that covers a lot of things,” said Drew Lankford, the Virginia Beach Public Works Spokesperson.

Public Works covers many areas in the city which include waste management, beaches, road projects, certain bridges, city vehicles, traffic signals, and other responsibilities.

Some city employees are working from home, but many crews are out in the streets. Officials say they are dealing with staffing shortages.

“We’re going along with the guidelines like everybody else, but at the same time we have to juggle to make sure that things get done in the city to keep us running,” said Lankford.

There is a lot more trash than normal with more people cooking at home, cleaning out closets and doing yard work, according to Lankford.

He said Waste Management has been busy in the City of Virginia Beach.

Officials report that last week, regular household trash was up between 25% and 30% and yard waste was up almost 50%.

“There’s really been a big push on Waste Management,” said Lankford.

He said previously they were behind two days with yard waste pick up, but have since caught up.

Lankford recommends that if yard waste isn’t picked up at the normal time, to leave it out at the curb and crews will get to it as soon as possible.

Road projects like the one on 18th Street at the Oceanfront continue along with many others.

Officials said it's easier for crews working on the streets with fewer drivers on the road.

Lankford said less congestion has made it possible to have crews work during the day instead of at night.

The mass shooting last May displaced public works employees and delayed some projects, but he said they are continuing to move forward as best they can.

He said there is still a shortage of engineers.

“We’re going to keep working. We’re going to do the best we can to make sure everything gets taken care of,” said Lankford.