Because of ongoing supply chain issues related to the pandemic, the city has pushed back the start date for its new automated refuse and recycling program to the spring of 2022. “We’re in the same boat as most cities across the country in experiencing delays in services and shipping,” City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil told council. “We’re waiting on equipment for the trucks. It’s nobody’s fault, just what’s going on right now” nationwide. Next spring was part of the original plan when it was introduced nearly a year ago, although city officials remained optimistic that the fleet would be assembled and operational by mid-December.

But supply and labor shortages have continued, namely with the chassis for six automated front loaders needed to complete the build of the trucks by the promised and already rescheduled date of Dec. 1, City Public Works Director Collette Clinkscale noted in an Oct. 12 memo that was part of last week’s council packet. “We have been informed that due to the chassis delays, the trucks will not be delivered by the deadline,” Clinkscale said. “Therefore, the city will not be able to implement the automated refuse and recycling program this year.”

Also on hold for now will be the delivery of the roughly 29,000 curbside carts, one each for garbage and one for recyclables, that were earlier scheduled to go out to residences this month. “We do not want the carts delivered too far in advance of the automation because we don’t want residents setting out the carts prior to automation,” Clinkscale said. “Cart delivery was on schedule. However, we have postponed distribution to coincide with truck delivery.”

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Author: Thomas Jewell,
Thomas Jewell,