Omicron Variant is Responsible for Garbage Pileups Around US Cities

 Residents are angry that governments can’t handle even the most basic of services due to the omicron variant that is sickening so many sanitation workers across the United States.

Recyclable Christmas gift boxes and wrapping paper are piling up on Nashville curbs, trash bags are piling up in Philadelphia, and uncollected yard waste is blocking Atlanta walkways. Officials have stopped recycling in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Bags of rubbish piled around uncollected waste bins

(Photo : Getty Images)

Shortage of Sanitation Workers Due to the Omicron Variant

A shortage of garbage collectors has forced cities including Atlanta, Nashville, and Louisville to temporarily halt collections of recyclable bottles and cans; paper and plastic; yard debris; or big junk,  according to

Residents are more than irritated by the delays, which cause problems such as clogged storm drains and choked sidewalks. 

Prior to Christmas, the city of Nashville informed council member Freddie O’Connell that curbside recycling will be discontinued. 

The third stage of the epidemic is the garbage catastrophe. COVID-19 took hold in the United States in the spring of 2020. As the delta variant increased over the summer, the garbage issues developed once more. 

According to the Solid Waste Association of North America, municipal officials and waste haulers should begin planning for workforce shortages as soon as possible. 

Over the Christmas holidays, the highly contagious variant struck at a time when Americans were generating a lot of waste. David Biderman, the association’s executive director said the perfect storm for delayed collection has been created by a low immunization level among front-line sanitation employees. 

Biderman estimates that up to a quarter of the waste collection staff is absent due to illness in some regions. 

Omicron has affected numerous essential services, including garbage collection. Teachers, firefighters, police officers, and transit workers have all been absent in considerable numbers around the country as a result of widespread illnesses. 

Calls, emails, and everything else are pouring in. It’s easy to see why people are angry, Liliana Bakhtiari, a member of the Atlanta City Council, said. 

Also Read: Experts Warn How Omicron Variant May Bear the Fourth COVID-19 Wave

How Long will the Delays in the Collection of Garbage Last?

Delays in recyclables collection are expected to continue through the month in Los Angeles

Starting in the first week of January, sanitation crews in Louisville, Kentucky, stopped collecting up yard garbage. Locals can dispose of their Christmas tree trimmings by bringing them to one of several pickup points. 

This current coronavirus outbreak has forced some of New York City’s 7,000 sanitation workers to miss work, while the remainder are putting in long hours to clear a backlog of waste. 

While some are returning to work after being quarantined, others have tested positive for the virus, according to the head of a sanitation workers’ union in New York City.

Bags of rubbish piled around uncollected waste bins

(Photo : Getty Images)

Efforts to Stop the Delays in Garbage Collections 

Carlton Williams, the Streets Commissioner in Philadelphia, says that about 10% to 15% of the city’s 900-person sanitation personnel are absent on any given day, resulting in delays in waste collection. 

Some governments use temporary labor or private haulers to keep waste from piling up. Signing bonuses, pay rises, and other incentives are being offered by some companies. 

The starting salary for truck drivers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was raised by more than 40%, from just over $31,500 to $45,000. 

For this reason, the city was able to resume recycling collection in November after suspending it for the first time in July and maintain regular pick-ups.

Related Article: Omicron Variant May Have Evolved From Mice to Human Transmission

For more news, updates about omicron variant and similar topics don’t forget to follow Nature World News!

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