FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — While many were ecstatic to see a trash or recycling truck roll up and collect their bins on Friday — their actual scheduled pickup day — there were some who were missed.
The company’s first full day of service was Friday. It resumed operations on Tuesday after the long, 4th of July holiday weekend.
GFL Environmental’s Fort Wayne general manager, Jacob Diliberto, said those misses are being addressed.
“Big picture, [I’m] very, very happy with the amount and the quality of service that the residents got,” Diliberto said.
He described the first-day misses as extremely minimal and as issues that will go away as drivers are coached and get familiar with their routes.
“[It wasn’t] anything out of the ordinary compared to any other municipality on the first day of service anywhere in the United States,” Diliberto said. “In fact, I might say it was significantly lower than a lot of other places on the first time around.”
John Perlich, a spokesman for Mayor Tom Henry, told WANE 15 that the city’s 311 center received 95 reports of missed garbage from Friday and 24 misses from Friday recycling collections.
According to Perlich, the usual amount of Friday pickups for Friday are 16,680 garbage collections and 8,340 recycling collections.
For context, that means more than 99% of Friday’s scheduled trash collections were either picked up or missed, but not reported.
“Today is GFL’s second day in the community as our new contractor for garbage and recycling collection services. They’re doing well getting acclimated to the routes and our service area. We’ve heard a lot of positive comments from customers since Friday’s launch. With any new service, it will take time to get settled in. That’s to be expected,” Perlich added.
Diliberto said GFL’s digital and logistic teams have already made changes to certain routes they cover to make sure they can achieve misses.
An example, they looked at Friday “A week” recycling and decided they needed to add a second truck to that route because of the number of homes and alleys involved.
“Daily improvements, daily monitoring, and increasing staff as required,” is how Diliberto described GFL’s plan moving forward.
He said they’re going to continue to evolve and believes they’ve done great so far considering the amount of time they had to prepare.
According to Diliberto, there’s at least a year of prep time for a contract involving a city the size of Fort Wayne.
Diliberto said they had, at the most, 45 days to get trucks, staff and routes all taken care of.
“That’s a monumental achievement that I’ve very proud of,” Diliberto said.
That’s why he believes they’ll continue to get better and regular misses will soon be a thing of the past.
“Every relationship needs to have a clean start, so [it’s] the same thing with us. We’re doing, I think, fantastic with some elements where we’ve got to learn portions of the street. Different alleys, different small portions where a toter might be at. So, all of that stuff is just one or two times and then you’ve got it,” Diliberto said of his drivers.