COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Solid Waste Department continues to experience a trash collector staffing shortage.
City spokesperson Brian Adkisson said the department has 10 vacant collector positions and three additional people currently on leave. He said the city is continually working to fill the vacancies.
The department wasn't able to complete all of its recycling pickups on Wednesday and Thursday due to equipment failure and staffing shortage. Adkisson said the department successfully completed all curbside pickups Friday.
Solid Waste was not able to collect all fiber items set out for residential recycling today due to equipment failure & staffing shortage. Crews plan to collect missed items on Friday. Please leave items at the curb. We appreciate your patience & apologize for the inconvenience.— City of Columbia, MO (@CoMoGov) June 13, 2019
Solid Waste was not able to collect all residential recycling today due to equipment failure & staffing shortage. Crews plan to collect missed Wednesday recycling on Thursday. Please leave your items at the curb. We appreciate your patience & apologize for the inconvenience.— City of Columbia, MO (@CoMoGov) June 12, 2019
ABC 17 News previously reported in April that the city hires 12 to 15 employees each day from, People Ready, a temporary staffing agency.
Adkisson said the city still relies on People Ready to supplement the collections staff with 10 to 12 temporary workers on a daily basis. The agency charges the city $22.44 per hour for its employees to work as trash collectors.
Express Employment Professionals, another temporary staffing agency, provides workers to staff the city's landfill at the cost of $13.20 per hour, Adkisson said.
Last July Express Employment Professionals stopped performing trash collection services for the city due to the high cost of employees getting hurt on the job.
The department has struggled to hire full-time trash collectors. The Columbia City Council voted in September to raise the pay rate for trash collectors by $2 an hour.