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Driver shortages lead to new trash collection schedule in 2022

Denver will address driver shortages and overtime challenges with a new schedule next year.

DENVER — The City of Denver will make changes to its trash, recycling and compost collection services in 2022.

The new collection routes, which will adjust how drivers move through the city, are due to driver shortages and other pandemic challenges, said Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI).

DOTI said this is the first time in more than 15 years that it has made significant routing adjustments while Denver has grown by about 200,000 people in that same period.

Collection will move to to a four-day (Monday through Thursday) collection schedule instead of a five-day collection schedule. In 2022, Fridays will be used for catchup work, illegal dumping complaints, and holiday pickups that previously pushed collections to Saturdays, reducing overtime and the need to work weekends.

DOTI said that while it has been able to sustain a missed-pickup rate of less than one percent of total pickups per month, it has sustained increasing amounts of overtime and weekend work.

New routing will result in 62,000 fewer miles driven and reductions in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, according to DOTI.

Credit: Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
2022 Denver trash collection routes. Rutas de recolección de basura de Denver para 2022.

"In response to a national problem, we’re implementing a Denver solution to maintain the high levels of service our customers are used to receiving," said Adam Phipps, Executive Director of DOTI.

"Our approach involves two asks: we’ll ask our operators to drive new routes next year and 70% of our customers to set out their bins on a different day of the week."

DOTI is also looking to fill 30 of its 131 driver positions with $2,500 signing bonuses.

Denver's 2022 collection calendars will be available in early December at denvergov.org/reroute.

·         The app: Denver Trash and Recycling

·         Online at www.denvergov.org/trashandrecycling

·         A customer account that can be established at www.denvergov.org/UtilitiesOnline

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