FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On Tuesday, GFL Environmental USA was formally introduced as the next trash and recycling collector for the city of Fort Wayne.
You can read about certain changes you need to know about collections here:
The question is: will the quality of service be better than what it was under Red River?
Although the bar isn’t set very high, GFL’s Director of Municipal Affairs and Operational Improvement told WANE 15 they want to make it so Fort Wayne residents don’t have to think twice about trash and recycling.
“We’ve got everything ready to go here: route managers, mechanic techs, district managers, general managers, everything ready to go on July 1st,” Caramagno said.
During his exclusive 1-on-1 sit-down with WANE 15, Caramagno highlighted some things GFL will do to ensure the quality of service will match what they’ve promised.
For starters, some of the new drivers for GFL are workers who drove for Red River, which was known for bins being knocked over and broken. They also had a reputation of not getting out of the trucks to pick up extra materials set near bins.
Caramagno says all of their employees have already been brought in and know exactly what GFL’s expectations are.
“There’s been a great deal of training. We’ve been bringing people in, bringing them in the garage, going through the trucks from top to bottom. Pre-trip training and operation of the trucks both for the driver and for the helper on the back of the truck. They’ve been doing that with the mechanics, technicians, with their route manager, with the general manager so there’s a complete understanding,” he said.
Caramagno added that each route will have a manager driving around checking on a number of things. He told WANE 15 that if there is an issue with a driver, the route manager will handle it right then and there, rather than waiting until the end of the day when the truck returns to base.
The route managers will be checking in on the trucks’ GPS systems that maps out their routes and pickups, and will also have tablets that connect them to the city’s 311 call center.
“hose route managers are going to be on the street in a pickup truck, traveling the routes, looking for efficiency issues, supervising the employees on the street, and any safety things that they might find. They’ll be able to prevent any accidents or injuries,” Caramagno said.”
Most people in Fort Wayne have forgotten what it’s like to have their trash and recycling picked up on its normally scheduled day. Caramagno said they want to encourage people to have materials placed at the curb by 6 a.m. on their scheduled day, but if you’re late and miss the truck, there’s a way to still have your items picked up.
“If they call 311 and say they have a late set-out, we’ll be able to help them with that,” Caramagno said. “We certainly are going to encourage all residents to have their trash and recycling out by 6 a.m. each day so that they’re not missed by the trash truck or recycle truck. It’s going to be important. We don’t want to tie up trucks going back and forth for things that weren’t set out properly.”
According to Caramagno, GFL is amending the routes drivers take on a daily basis but not changing your pickup days.
Part of the reason for doing so is because they’ll have more trucks on the streets than Red River did. When the fleet is deployed on Friday, at least 33 trucks will be off to cover the city. Mayor Tom Henry called that number “significantly more” than what Red River had.
Caramagno said that while they send out 33 to 35 trucks per day, they have 40 available trucks for scenarios where one goes out of service. That way, they won’t miss a beat.
“We’re going to run more trucks than, what has typically been run here in the city of Fort Wayne. So, the trucks will be routed differently, but all on the same day. So, no changes there,” he said.
Caramagno added that you’ll see four different types of trucks driving around town. They have regular trucks with just a back loader, trucks with mechanical arms on the side, front-loading trucks, and what they call “mini packers.”
The mini packers will be used to cover alleys and areas with tight turns like cul-de-sacs. They’ll also be deployed to get misses or late set-outs noted by route managers.
GFL officially takes over as Fort Wayne’s solid waste hauler on Friday, July 1.
It’s second week of service will be delayed by one day due to the 4th of July holiday.
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