FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Tuesday evening the Fort Wayne Board of Public Works accepted the bid of GFL Environmental USA to begin work as the next provider of residential garbage and recycling collection. Services will begin July 1. Now, GFL will sign a formal contract with the city, a contract that city council has yet to receive.
The agreement with GFL contains questions that viewers asked about, and WANE 15 got answers.
Shan Gunawardena, director of Public Works said Wednesday that services in Fort Wayne will remain the same. Trash will be picked up every week and recycling every other week.
GFL will allow three bags outside of bins for each pickup. “It could be yard waste bags, like the biodegradable bags or plastic garbage bags, something that is secure enough that an individual can get the bag and put it in a bin,” Gunawardena says.
The whole idea is that the automated system will dispose of the contents in the bin and an employee will place the additional bags into the bin and the system will dispose of those bags. This is in order to reduce the drivers from having to throw bags in the back of the truck which can lead to overworked employees and labor shortages.
“You can have as many bins as you want, what you have outside bins is limited to three bags,” Gunawardena says. GFL will continue utilizing the bins that are provided by the city.
The first bin is provided with the service. Additional bins for garbage will continue to be a $2 charge per month, and there will be no cost to additional recycling bins.
In the contract with GFL, the city ensured that the company has adequate resources in the vicinity so that the situation is not similar with the last trash provider. The city also ensured that the provider has experience working in cold weather conditions with snow and ice as well as maneuvering through tight side streets and alleys. “We just have to let them do their job,” Gunawardena says.
“The trucks will be lime green, that is their trademark so you will see them coming,” Gunawardena jokes.
GFL plans to hire workers in Fort Wayne. The labor shortage with Red River Waste Solutions continued to be the problem for late and delayed pick ups.
“They have to be competitive and have a good operational plan and they have to have the staffing to motivate employees and keep them engaged. They have proven they can do it elsewhere so I’m confident they can do it in Fort Wayne,” Gunawardena explains.
GFL sent this statement today about the excitement of providing services in the summit city:
“GFL Environmental USA Inc. (GFL) is pleased the Board of Public Works accepted our bid to be Fort Wayne’s next trash hauler. We are working with city and council officials to complete the contract approval process. Our bid provides the community with the best service at the best price. The GFL team is excited to serve the residents of Fort Wayne and is eager to provide the community with a smooth transition over the next couple of months.”
Gunawardena laughs saying, “Hopefully July 1 will be here sooner rather than later.”
The service is expected to start by July 1, 2022. However, the bid still needs approval from City Council.
GFL is expected to be at the next City Council meeting April 26.