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What's Behind Philadelphia's Trash Pickup Delays, And What's Being Done To Address Issue?

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Trash trouble in Philadelphia. The city Sanitation Department admits it is struggling to keep pace with mounds of garbage.

As Philadelphia climbs out of pandemic restrictions, city trash is continuing to pile up.

For the past two months, the city Sanitation Department has been operating on delays, citing a number of challenges.

"It's largely due to increased volume, the pandemic and some staffing challenges that we're facing," Streets Department Deputy Commissioner Keith Warren said.

Staffing issues coupled with increased mounds of trash has sanitation workers scrambling to keep up.

"Trash is trending at about 30% higher than normal and this is our peak season, and 30% higher equates to another full day of trash collection basically," Warren said.

The Streets Department has been working to hire more workers but for now, they're shuffling the people they do have to compensate for shortages.

"In order to mitigate what's going on, we have been moving people from other assignments and other duties such as pothole repair and paving, and using them in trash collection," Warren said.

As many as six sanitation convenience centers, like one in North Philadelphia, have been placed throughout the city for those who can't wait for pickup and would rather drop off their trash. The Sanitation Department is pleading for patience as they try to rid trash-littered streets throughout the city

"Please accept my apologies for the delay in trash collection, please be patient with us," Warren said.

Officials still say to put your trash out on the normal day and if it hasn't been picked up in at least 48 hours to contact the city's 311 information line.

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