Fairfax Co. announces new agreement aimed at improving trash removal

Residents in Fairfax County, Virginia, have been complaining that their trash isn’t being picked up on a regular basis.

Now, relief may be coming.

The county has announced an agreement with one private trash hauler, American Disposal Services, to implement a “legally-enforceable Recovery Plan,” which includes ADS spending more money to recruit, hire and keep drivers.

Those steps include:

  • Posting job advertisements at a minimum of 50 relevant outlets, including social media, and staging quarterly local job fairs.
  • Offering pre-paid tuition for CDL training (driver shortages are a significant factor in ADS’ hiring struggles).
  • Hiring additional drivers every week until the service problems are resolved, and providing monthly written reports to DPWES on progress.
  • Increasing the starting wage of drivers by at least 20% and collection crews by at least 10%.
  • Retaining seven additional customer service personnel.
  • Establishing a service quality goal and lead measures/metrics to demonstrate and maintain progress.
  • Establishing a defined credit process for residential customers to cover all missed collections, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

ADS also has to provide Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) with frequent status updates on missed or rescheduled collections.

The deadline to restore “quality service” is Dec. 31, 2022.

If garbage isn’t collected on a weekly basis by the end of the year, ADS will be hit with fines.

According to statement released Friday, “ADS acknowledges it has been unable to consistently meet the weekly collection requirement largely due to problems with hiring and retaining operations personnel.”

Ninety percent of Fairfax County’s trash is picked up by private trash contractors. ADS has received the most complaints of spotty collection service, according to a DPWES memo.

WTOP has contacted ADS for comment.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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