Omaha’s garbage collector, Waste Management, says it’s catching up on late garbage and yard waste pickup from this weekend in Omaha.
Some residents have had their garbage and yard waste sit for up to five days at the curb, according to a press release from Mayor Jean Stothert.
One Omahan who waited several days was Ralph Bistline. He told The World-Herald his regular Thursday pickup came on Sunday afternoon.
The city’s waste hauler says it expects to catch up by Saturday. Regular recycling pickup should resume, starting with Thursday’s regular stops, the city says.
Nearly a third of Wednesday’s trash pickups were running behind, but the number of regular pickups missed was improving.
People who have reported late pickups to the Mayor’s Hotline are being prioritized. The number to call is 402-444-5555.
The city urges people to call or visit the Wasteline.org website because reporting late pickups lets the city cut what it pays the company.
Waste Management has blamed the delays on the larger amount of wet yard waste created by last week’s hailstorm.
Others, including some with ties to Waste Management, have pointed to a shortage of drivers and employees that has plagued the company before.
Lisa Disbrow, a regional spokeswoman for Waste Management, has apologized to residents for the delays and said the company will rectify the situation.
Waste Management has brought in drivers, managers and employees from other cities to supplement its local workforce.
Omaha is in the process of selecting its next trash hauler, for a contract to start in January 2021. Waste Management’s roughly $15 million-a-year contract expires at the end of 2020.
The City Council voted down the mayor’s recommended bid on Tuesday from Spain-based FCC Environmental.
Stothert has said she will not forward the council another contract to consider until she knows she has secured the council’s support.
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What protects Omaha from flooding
The Omaha area’s robust flood protections — knock on wood — are built to keep water out or contained. Most recently, they did their job during the record-setting flooding of March 2019 that turned neighboring towns to islands and caused, so far, hundreds of millions in damage to homes, roads, bridges, fields and livestock. We look in greater detail at the protections in place that guard Omaha. Sources: National Weather Service; City of Omaha; City of Council Bluffs; Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District; World-Herald archives.