new attleboro trash bin

Attleboro’s trash bin.

ATTLEBORO — Coronavirus has interrupted trash pickup in Attleboro and at least one other community — North Attleboro.

A resident of South Attleboro contacted The Sun Chronicle with a complaint that the city’s hauler, Waste Management, left her trash sitting on the street for five days. And that those contacted at City Hall did not have answers, she said, adding that “this is getting ridiculous.”

But according to Mayor Paul Heroux, COVID was the culprit.

“WM notified us that they had nine employees out with COVID,” he said in an email. “They had to use drivers that were not familiar with the route and so they missed some streets.”

He said Waste Management has been working to catch up and that goal would likely be accomplished by Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Heroux added that bad weather did not help.

“The snow storm on Friday set things back a day,” he said.

Meanwhile, Waste Management Director of Public Affairs Garrett Trierweiler issued the following statement:

“Like many other industries, the environmental services sector is being impacted by the recent increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. Throughout the pandemic, we have and will continue to remain focused on the health and safety of our team members. We will continue to manage absences to ensure we provide essential waste and recycling service to our customers.”

But he acknowledged the virus has caused service problems.

“In limited circumstances, staffing issues have resulted in service disruptions, but we are working to limit any further disruptions in the future,” he said.

North Attleboro was also having problems. The following was posted on its website:

“Waste Management was unable to finish all of Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 trash route,” the post said. “If your trash and the whole street has not been picked up, Waste Management will recover the affected areas on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

“Also, Waste Management still needs to collect a portion of Tuesday and all of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday routes for Christmas trees,” the post said. “Waste Management will resume collecting Christmas trees the week of Jan. 10, 2022 and will be in town until the routes have been completed.”

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

Recommended for you