WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Residents of the City of Wichita Falls may have noticed a delay in recent weeks regarding the pickup of their trash.
Some citizens reported on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, that their curbside containers and dumpsters remained full, despite the fact the City’s regular trash pickup schedule shows their trash was supposed to be taken on Tuesday.
According to City officials, this is due in part to a shortage of trash truck drivers. Chris Horgen, Public Information Officer with the City of Wichita Falls, said there are currently six openings for trash pickup truck drivers.
Teresa Rose, Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of Wichita Falls, said several other positions are currently open in the sanitation department.
Rose said the shortage of people to work the needed roles has been an issue for the department for years now. However, she said a lack of personnel isn’t the only issue causing delays in the trash pickup process.
“The City is also short in mechanics, so we were also short in trucks that are able to be repaired, so we were having issues with that,” Rose said. “There’s also issues with the supply chain so there’s parts that are trying to be ordered that are three to four weeks out.”
Rose said all of those factors have created a situation in which all of the city’s trash pickup routes aren’t being completed in the timeframe citizens are used to. She said all the extra work being put on her current employees is taking its toll.
“I can say that this has really been kind of exhausting, especially for the people that are out there trying to do the job every day,” Rose said. “They’re having to work long hours and do multiple tasks within those hours.”
Rose said her team is working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week to ensure regular pickup continues for residents. She addressed taxpayers’ concerns that their trash won’t be removed twice weekly as expected.
“We’re working really hard to make sure that within a week especially,” Rose said. “For example, for trash collection, that everybody does receive their twice per week collection, and that we will get there in the best timely manner that we can to get that collected.”
Prospective applicants who do not currently have a commercial driver’s license in Texas are still encouraged to apply. Rose said the city offers a training program that allows drivers to obtain their CDL, as well as many other great benefits.
Residents looking for a career with the City of Wichita Falls can apply for one of the many openings within the sanitation department, and any other city department, can visit the city’s website to do so.