Trash, recycling delays persist in Warwick, but mayor reassures it’s only temporary

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi is working to mitigate delays in sanitation and recycling pickup throughout the city.

Picozzi said the delays are the result of an aging truck fleet. Right now, he said only half of their sanitation trucks are on the road.

“The fleet is very old and we are having a hard time keeping trucks on the road,” Picozzi said.

He said the city is struggling to repair the trucks due to a supply chain shortage caused by the ongoing pandemic.

Since not all of the city’s 15 sanitation trucks are on the road, Warwick Public Works Director Eric Earls said the city’s sanitation workers are having a hard time keeping up.

“They’re picking up the trash, driving to Johnston to the landfill, dumping it and then coming back,” Earls said. “By the time they pick up the recycling, the recycling is not being picked up until 7 or 8 o’clock at night, because it’s the same truck.”

Despite the challenges, Picozzi said the city is doing everything they can to keep on schedule, including creating temporary transfer stations that allow the drivers to save time.

“I mean we are getting it picked up,” he said. “Sometimes it’s delayed … but the sanitation workers have been heroes in this. They are out sometimes until 8 or 9 o’clock at night. They are not complaining, they are working weekends, but I know they are getting tired. They want to be home with their families.”

When asked how residents can help, Picozzi suggested they only put out full bins of recycling.

“We still need them to recycle, but if you don’t have a full bin, you don’t have to put it out every week,” Picozzi explained.

Picozzi said the city has purchased three new sanitation trucks, and said they’re waiting on parts for the other vehicles to come in.

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