Residential trash collection contracted through the City with Republic Services has been inconsistent for a number of Fullerton residents during the last few months. It’s not just a single house or a single bin that gets skipped, but all green recycle bins on a street, all black trash containers in an alley, or all brown yard waste receptacles on one side of the street, as examples.
Since COVID-19, there has been an increase in the amount of residential waste. More online purchases have meant more boxes in the green recycle bins. Eating out has been replaced with takeout and all the disposable food packaging, bags, and utensils that go with it go right into the trash. Additionally, people are cleaning out and replacing old things for new. All this produces extra waste.
But according to Mark McGee, Municipal Contract Manager at Republic Services, the increased residential trash is not the cause of trash cans left unemptied on trash day. He says Republic has kept up with the high demand by increasing the number of trips to unload the waste from twice a day to 3 or 4 times. Because of this, the drivers are out later at night to complete their routes.
At the end of March, Republic suspended large item pickups to help manage the overflow. Large item pickups resumed in the summer and have continued since then with about a two-week turnaround from the day of the request, just as it was before the temporary halt. So, large items are not the cause of the recent pickup problems either.
As of January 2020, waste collection services can no longer use yard waste as cover material at the dump due to changes under California State Assembly Bill 1594 (approved in 2014) that amended section 40507 of the Public Resources Code. Republic now takes brown bin waste to Chino Hills to be mulched or composted. But this also does not explain the recent interruption in service, as the problem started months after the yard waste diversion began.
When bins are not picked up on trash day, residents need to call Republic Services’ customer service at (714) 238-3300. This phone number is printed on the top of each bin. To reduce residential wait times on the phone, some calls are routed to other states that should provide equally efficient service, according to McGee. Recovery pickups should occur within 24 hours of calling, excluding Sundays.
However, residents report recovery pickups taking days after calling or not occurring at all. Calls to customer service for missed recovery pick-ups may be forwarded to the route supervisor. The route supervisor can make a recovery pick up personally using a dumpster bin rather than a full-size trash truck.
The route supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the drivers know their route. The drivers have printed maps to follow and the truck locations are tracked electronically, but there is no monitoring to alert the supervisor that sections of the route were missed without a customer calling Republic to report it.
To avoid missed trash service, residents should check that their bin was emptied before putting it away. If it is not empty, the bin should be left out after the scheduled pick-up day for a trash truck that may come later in the evening or even the next day. Residents should call Republic early in the morning on the day, after their regular trash day to schedule a recovery pick up.
If you are a Fullerton resident whose trash pickup has been inconsistent and would like to share photos or your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: Local News