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Palm Coast Thursday, Apr. 29, 2021 1 week ago

Universal employment woes leave Waste Pro in a trashy situation, Flagler County says

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Waste Pro says it is 'experiencing a shortage of willing and qualified labor,' resulting in off-schedule collections — and complaints.
by: Julie Murphy Flagler County Public Information Officer

People in Flagler County are talking trash — as in their garbage hasn’t been picked up — and the complaints about it are also piling up.

County Administrator Jerry Cameron reached out to Waste Pro’s upper management and found out that the county’s contracted garbage collector is having difficulty finding laborers, as are many other local businesses. The result is off-schedule collections.

“They have received zero applications for their advertised positions of ‘helper’ on the truck routes,” Cameron said. “ ... The temporary agencies are also unable to find sufficient staffing to meet the need, and in those instances that they are able to find temporary employees, it is at roughly a 50% increase in cost.”

Waste Pro is attempting to remedy the situation by bringing in trucks from other areas, but are having limited success as the labor shortage is universal.

“We are navigating through unprecedented times surrounding staffing and like other industries we are not immune to the nationwide driver shortage,” the company said in a written statement. “The demand for qualified drivers currently outpaces supply.”

It cited enhanced requirements at the federal level — the Department of Transportation Drug Clearing House and more stringent review of CSA (compliance, safety, accountability) scores — as narrowing an already shallow pool of eligible, licensed, professional drivers.

Waste Pro has increased its efforts to attract and retain employees through additional advertising and job fairs, as well as retention and new driver referral bonuses.

“As is the case with a multitude of industries across the country, private solid waste companies are struggling to find and keep employees,” Cameron said. “A general shortage of labor is certainly being felt in Flagler County.”

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