Garbage and recycling pickup and recycling delays expected in Philly due to COVID-19 absences

Philadelphia residents looking to dispose of vacation trash can be in trouble. The city’s streets department expects delays in garbage and recycling collection and doesn’t know when things will get back to normal.

The delays started on Monday and are expected to continue at least next week, as the department faces a wave of COVID-19-related absences.

The ministry tweeted that it was unsure how long the delays would last, as the number of available staff fluctuates daily.

“We anticipate that these challenges will shift in the coming weeks as we work on COVID-19 infections and the quarantine of our workforce,” read a tweet from the department.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” another tweet said.

At present, there are only slight delays in garbage collection, while recycling is delayed by a day or more in some areas. Residents are asked to continue taking out their garbage on the scheduled day.

Those who wish to dispose of their waste on their own can take it to one of the Sanitation centers Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In the comments on the Twitter thread, there was sympathy and practical advice for the city’s garbage collectors.

“Fully understand the issues with COVID,” Lisa Mundy tweeted. “Prioritize regular trash cans and leave (recycling) trash cans until next week.”

She said that although her regular collection takes place on Monday, a truck drove by on Tuesday and dumped her recycling and garbage in the same compartment.

Another user complained that the delays are not new to Port Richmond. There, recycling would not have been picked up since before Christmas.

This is not the first time that the pandemic has caused delays in the collection of trash from the Department of Streets. At the start of the public health crisis, the department had to repeatedly change its regular pickup schedule due to COVID-related difficulties, extreme weather conditions and public holidays.

The Streets Department is not the only arm of the city government that has struggled this week due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.

On Tuesday, 81 of the city’s school districts switched to virtual learning due to a combination of weather issues and COVID-related absences. Of those, 77 are expected to stay online at least until the end of this week.

Students and parents whose schools have switched to virtual learning can still have their meals at venues around the city. A list is available at the bottom of the school district closing page.

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