The City of Columbia Solid Waste Division is experiencing delays in yard trash collection due to staffing vacancies and an unprecedented heavy leaf season.
“It’s been a very challenging year, especially during this time of year,” department head Robert Anderson explained. “One week it took 60 hours to run a 10-hour route.”
The length of the delay will vary, in part depending on how often and how many residents are raking their leaves at the same time.
A main culprit for the problem is the 30% employment gap in the city’s public works department and difficulty recruiting new employees to fill vacancies. Anderson said he currently has 35 vacancies on a would-be staff of 115. Fewer employees mean less equipment on the streets running collection routes.
A major action step city staff will take to recruit additional employees is hosting open interviews on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. beginning Wednesday, January 12, 2022. The Division is currently hiring for several positions. These positions include general labor (maintenance assistants), truck drivers and CDL operators. Those interested can apply online at www.ColumbiaSC.gov/employment, Indeed or Ziprecruiter.
Interviews will be held at the City’s Public Works Facility, located at 2910 Colonial Dr. Columbia, SC 29203. Applicants should bring their driver’s license, vaccination card and social security card if available.
For more information, please call the Solid Waste Division at 803-545-3800 or visit www.ColumbiaSC.gov.