CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Staffing shortages are causing delays in Chesapeake's trash pickup. City officials are working to recruit additional staff and get them into the field as soon as possible.
Until those positions are filled, Chesapeake residents can expect delays in the collection of all types of waste.
"Each week, it seems to be slower and slower. Like today, it’s 5:40 p.m. and no trash pickup," said Deb Smith, a Chesapeake resident.
Smith says she’s noticed a delay in her trash pickup for the last six months.
"It’s sort of like I feel like a second-class citizen. It's like, 'When are you coming, folks?'" Smith said.
Mike Thompson, who lives in the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake, says it’s frustrating to see trash in his yard for several days.
"It’s getting pretty bad today, and there’s just no telling when they’re going to come back. It could be tomorrow, or it could be the next day," Thompson tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.
The director of public works says employees have had to work overtime due to staffing shortages.
"If you see the trucks behind me, they would be on the road right now if we had the drivers, but we unfortunately do not. We’ve got supervisors who would normally be in an office; they’re in trucks right now running routes," Earl Sorey said.
The department of public works says the pandemic has contributed to residential waste by more than 20%, and the shortage in drivers nationwide has contributed to the staffing shortage.
Waste Management trucks used to run Tuesday through Friday but recently had to add a few extra days.
"In the last couple of months, we’ve been running six days a week. However, [we're] just trying to stay caught up and on top of the trash," Sorey said.
One Chesapeake resident says he’s noticed trash being picked up later in the day due to the delay.
"Today is the latest it's been picked up. Usually when they come by, they pick it up in the morning," said Robert Taylor.
Chesapeake Public Works asks for residents' patience as they deal with staffing shortages.
"We would ask continue to put your brown bin and your waste at the curb on your regular scheduled day. We will try to get to you on that day. If we don’t, know that we are coming and we will get there - there just may be a delay," Sorey said.
The City of Chesapeake Public Works department is hiring, and if you're interested, you can go to the city's website to learn more.