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Need to Know

Philly Falling Way Behind on Trash Pickup — but It’s Not Alone

Much has been reported about Philadelphia’s struggle to keep up with its trash and recycling collections during COVID-19.  

But it’s not the only city.

Other cities, including Baltimore and Atlanta, have faced similar challenges. Others have suspended yard waste or bulk trash pickup in order to not fall behind on regular household waste collection.

“A substantial number of cities are experiencing delays in waste collection as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Biderman, executive director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America, which supports public- and private-sector waste professionals.

Philadelphia has long been known for its trouble dealing with trash and litter. But Biderman said the reasons for Philadelphia’s recent collection issues — a high number of workers calling out sick and an increase in residential trash volume as people stay home — are occurring in sanitation departments across the country during the pandemic.

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