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Flint using city crews to collect yard waste amid worker shortage

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    FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — With spring here, lots of people have been doing some sprucing up in their yard but as with many things during this pandemic, COVID-19 has now affected yard waste pick-up too.

“This is just something this experience that we work on our way through,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “I defined it as the intersection of crisis in our community, but we’re championing these things in a fantastic fashion.”

Neeley said the city is dispatching crews to pick up yard waste throughout the Vehicle City for the next three days because the service provider has not been able to complete the job and he said you can blame it on COVID-19.

“Through no fault of their own, we are understanding that through this pandemic, a shortage of operations and drivers has been hitting everywhere, every community, but for the residents to be penalized for that shortage, it should not happen,” Neeley said.

Neeley added that Republic Services will reimburse the city $32,000 for performing the work.

“Through this engagement, they will pick up all costs and all expenses occur by this community for our engagement in our activity using our workers and our vehicles that do to pick up,” Neeley said.

Republic Services issued notices this week and two weeks prior saying that pickup of yard waste would be temporarily delayed because of worker shortages and the high volume of yard waste. All residents have been instructed to leave their yard waste at the curb.

“We’re expecting before our provider to be back on track next week after we helped him out with this a little additional push,” Neeley said.

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