FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Despite the biggest snowfall of the winter season, GFL Environmental USA still completed 97% of its collections on Wednesday, according to GFL’s Fort Wayne General Manager Jacob Diliberto.
John Perlich, a spokesman for Mayor Tom Henry, told WANE 15 that all but six partial garbage routes were completed Wednesday.
“GFL has done a really good job navigating two recent/difficult weather patterns of late – the one before Christmas and yesterday’s event with little to no disruption,” Perlich said.
Diliberto said on Thursday that they went into Wednesday with a plan which included spending extra time in the morning prepping all the drivers on safety.
He said they discussed slower speeds, and being aware of narrow turns and hills that can affect a trash truck.
Diliberto credits Wednesday’s success on the special attention given by the drivers.
“It’s really a credit to our employees, and it’s really a credit to our relationship with the City of Fort Wayne that we’re able to be out there and collect cans every day regardless of the weather and still keep everyone 100% safe,” he explained.
Perlich also told WANE 15 that the missed Wednesday pickups and all of Thursday pickups would be completed by the end of the day on Thursday.
According to Diliberto, they’re achieving that by simply re-routing some drivers on their Thursday routes.
The ease in which GFL is managing the weather is a continued display of their promise to deliver excellent solid waste service to Fort Wayne ever since officially taking over on July 1, 2022.
GFL came into the mix following Red River Waste Solution’s time in Fort Wayne.
After the first few weeks of adjusting to a new city, the complaints of missed trash and recycling pickups have virtually gone silent for months.
“Again, it goes as a tribute to our employees first of all,” Diliberto said. “Every man and woman that works here does a very hard job, and they take great pride in it. They take great pride in caring for the residents of this city. That’s where it starts at. It starts every morning when they show up to work to do the great job that they do. The other thing is that it’s a tribute to the GFL way – how we go about doing our business here.”
What is the GFL way?
Diliberto said it all boils down to their methods and models, such as how they map routes, that have worked for the company. He said they continue to stick to what works.
GFL’s performance in Fort Wayne recently served as proof to the city of Huntington, which entered into a contract with the company.
“GFL is entering into Indiana as a new business, and we’re very excited to grow here, and we’re very excited to service the city of Fort Wayne as well,” Diliberto said.
While GFL was able to navigate snowy roads on Wednesday, a lot of that snow is pushed to curbs and the sides of roads now.
As a reminder, residents can help GFL drivers by not placing bins on top of snow banks or elevated areas. If they’re up higher, the trucks can’t get them.
Additionally, Diliberto said it helps greatly if people can keep their trash and recycling bins spaced out by at least three to five feet.
“And let’s all be kind to each other because the weather is pretty bad and it affects a trash man no worse than anybody else,” he added.