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Recycling collections delayed

Suffolk residents have been experiencing delays in curbside recycling collection, and the city is thanking people for their patience and giving some advice.

The city’s Refuse Division said residents whose recycling is not picked up on the regularly scheduled day can simply leave their recycling can at the curb for collection the following day, according to a city press release.

“We would like to reassure residents that recycling services have not changed and residents should continue to place their recycling out on their scheduled day,” said Cynthia Cale, Refuse Division customer service supervisor. “We are working closely with our recycling contractor, TFC Recycling, and we are aware of any routes experiencing delays. We appreciate everyone’s patience.”

TFC Recycling Educational Outreach Director Kathy Russell confirmed that the biggest reason for the delay is staffing issues.

“We are challenged just like everyone else is with workforce,” Russell said. “It is hard to get drivers with a high level of skill specialized in driving these types of trucks. There’s shortages everywhere in the trucking industry.”

Russell said hiring drivers is a two- to three-month process to get them on the street after training.

She also said that with the pandemic, people have been staying home more and therefore recycling more.

She said residents can help by placing containers at least three feet apart and making sure the hinges are away from the street.

Contamination of the recycling stream — particularly with plastic bags, which are not recyclable in the blue cans — is also an issue, she said.

Weekly trash collection is operating as normal, the press release stated. Residents are reminded that recycling and trash cans should be placed at the curb or street line no earlier than 5 p.m. on the day before scheduled collection and no later than 7 a.m. on the day of scheduled collection.

For more information about recycling and trash collection, visit www.suffolkva.us/384/Refuse.