COLUMBUS Ga. (WRBL) – All over Columbus there are bulk items waiting to be picked up. Some have been sitting for a month or longer.
News 3 caught up with Public Services Director of Columbus Consolidated Government Michael Criddle and he says, “Drivers are leaving in droves. We had 11 leave in October to go to higher paying jobs.” Criddle empathized with the drivers that are leaving, “I’m not even upset with people when they say; I’m gonna better myself, and make more money for my family, and what have you. I totally get it.”
Criddle also tells WRBL that the driver shortage is causing them to ask the forestry division to pick up trash to fill in holes. Criddle noted, “It’s a diversion of resources that just can’t continue.”
Additionally, he tells WRBL that they use inmate labor for regular trash pickup in which they are paid $3 per day and $6 per day on holidays and weekends. Even with the help of inmate labor Crittle believes this is still not nearly enough.
“We are mandated by federal law to pickup household garbage weekly and we have obviously taken all of our resources and put them towards household garbage. I have supervisors that drive everyday and they don’t supervise they just drive trucks.”
As far as a resolution goes. Criddle says it’s simple, pay the driver more.
“We’re not competitive. We’re not wage competitive on these jobs. If the guy can take a CDL that he’s got now and go out and make 6, 8, 10 dollars more an hour what am I gonna do? I can’t, I can’t compete.”
For questions about bulk trash pickup Columbus residents can call 311.