Holyoke DPW asks for patience as winter storms, staff shortage delays trash pickup

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – People living in Holyoke are noticing a delay in their trash pick-up. 

Many Holyoke residents who put their trash and recycling out on Monday night for Tuesday pick up, were still waiting for it to be removed Wednesday. Trash bags and recycling bins place to the curb in Holyoke are piling up. 

“Well, we chalked it up to the weather at first because the last few weeks in a row we put our trash out on Monday night for Tuesday pick up and every day they’re kind of been a day or two behind,” said Wendy Coggeshall-Burr, a Holyoke resident. 

Coggeshall-Burr assumed the delay had to do with winter storms, but Holyoke’s DPW superintendent blames staffing shortages too. 

“The main reason we’re in this predicament is because we have a lot of our staff out on workers comp, there’s some guys who are out on vacation,” DPW Superintendent Michael McManus told 22News. 

Right now, trash and recycling pick-up is at half-staff. 

But superintendent McManus said in a social media post that his department hired four temporary employees to help fill in the gaps. DPW is also keeping people looped in by sending out robocalls informing them of the delays. 

Coggeshall-Burr said, “We live sort of at the bottom of a hill so if it blows around our property and that would kind of bother me, but if it’s beautiful weather, like you know there’s a pandemic going on so I’m sure there’s plenty of reasons for why it has to be delayed.” 

The most recent DPW update is from 3 p.m. Wednesday, and it says that crews are still working on Monday’s trash and recycling.  

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