Public Works director is optimistic about beginning of GFL era in Fort Wayne

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - In just over a week and a half, a new garbage company will begin collecting trash in Fort Wayne. At the same time, people across the city are dealing with growing piles of garbage and recyclables.

“GFL has been doing a really good job of recruiting,” Fort Wayne Public Works Director Shan Gunawardena said. “We’ve been meeting every week getting an update on their status, and right now I believe they’re ahead of the game with the number of people that they need.”

Gunawardena has been busy over the last several months getting ready for a big change for the city.

“They’re feeling pretty confident of what’s going to happen come July 1st,” Gunawardena said. “I think it has been a big relief for us as well and we’re looking forward to that.”

He says a lot goes into making sure the new company is ready and that one thing that’s been helpful is that GFL is a much bigger company than Red River.

Gunawardena says he realizes day one won’t be perfect. In fact, The first day of GFL’s contract is Friday, July 1. The Monday after is the July 4 holiday.

“Drivers will be out on July 1st and July 4th is going to be a holiday,” Gunawardena said. “So that next week they’re have an additional day on a Saturday. There will be a one day delay. Unfortunately, it just happened to be that way. We didn’t want to delay their contract longer than we had to.”

When the switch takes place, a number of current Red River employees will join GFL’s team. Gunawardena believes drivers will be in a better position to be successful.

“What they’re providing though is shorter routes so that drivers can get them completed during the day,” Gunawardena said. “That means they have more trucks out there. And also they have supervisors monitoring the area making sure the routes are getting covered.”

As people all over the city wait for what could be the solution for a years long problem, city leaders hope this big change will pay off long term and help build trust.

“It’s not just about picking up all the garbage they can, it’s about reducing the amount of waste around the community,” Gunawardena said.

City leaders say if you have any questions, they likely have the answer on their website.

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