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Waste & Recycling Customers Experience Curbside Collection Delays


Published on Aug 13, 2021


Bartow, Fla. (August 13, 2021) – Polk County Waste & Recycling’s residential customers may be experiencing collection service delays. This may not end soon, as like other businesses, Polk’s contracted residential haulers are experiencing a shortage in labor supply.

Polk County contracts with Advanced Disposal Services and FCC Environmental for residential curbside collection. Nearly 700,000 tons of trash are collected from around the county annually. Of that, about 210,000 tons of municipal solid waste (garbage) are generated by approximately 150,000 unincorporated Polk household customers.

With recent spikes in COVID keeping employees out of the workforce, the two hauling companies are running daily routes with about 12 less truck drivers than normally scheduled. Each driver is responsible for about 1,000 to1,200 collections on their daily route.

Garbage, yard waste and recyclable material collection varies depending on the route, day of week and side of the county.

“We want to apologize, as we know how inconvenient this is for our residents,” said Waste & Recycling Director Ana Wood. “Please be patient as we work to serve you during this pandemic-related labor shortage. Be assured county staff and partners are working diligently to serve our customers and find solutions for these delays.”

Wood said that the solution will not be immediate, but the effort and work to find one is underway. If residents need to report a missed collection, or request bulk pickup service, please submit a service request on www.polkwastewise.net.

Normally, residential curbside collection occurs Monday-Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Collection service schedules may be extended due to the labor shortage and missed collections. Messaging regarding service delays or changes will be posted on the website, and the county’s Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor social media frequently until collection services return to normal schedules.