VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A sea of blue bins flow down Lake Havasu Drive in Virginia Beach, though residents said they shouldn’t be there.
“Those are supposed to be picked up Wednesday morning," resident Shawn Fleming said. "It is now Friday morning and no sign, no notes, no emails.”
Normally, they said recycling on their street gets picked up every other Wednesday.
Another resident, Janice Jessup, said she first noticed the change a month ago.
“It just has to stop," Jessup said. "You can see everybody on the street hasn’t been picked up.”
Fleming said it’s adding more congestion to a small residential street.
“Just the general safety," he said. "We have a lot of kids in this area and trash cans are typically taller than the kids. Kid pops out from behind the trash can, you don’t see them, that’s a potential issue."
Virginia Beach Recycling Coordinator Kristi Rines said TFC Recycling, the company that picks up the bins, is dealing with a driver shortage amid high demand nationwide. Drivers are also dealing with equipment issues.
“Some of that is securing equipment," Rines said. "The trucks that are needed to service routes and of course upkeep of trucks in general.”
Rines said roughly 16,000 homes in Virginia Beach get their recycling picked up each day. Due to the shortage, drivers can only pick up half. That means the other half gets pushed to the next day. She said the delay is causing them to work overtime.
Collection days for the city normally run Tuesday through Friday. Now, drivers are collecting recycling just about every day.
“They didn’t expect to work on the weekends," Rines said. "They’ve been running on Sundays. They even ran on Mother’s Day.”
Rines said delays are running about a day behind in most parts of the city. She advises residents to leave the recycling bin out as the city is aware of the delay.
Delays could continue for a while. Rines wants people to have patience as they work through it.