THE BIG SWITCH: GFL takes over trash collection in Fort Wayne

GFL officially takes over as Fort Wayne's trash and recycling service provider on July 1.
GFL officially takes over as Fort Wayne's trash and recycling service provider on July 1.(WPTA)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:57 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - The City of Fort Wayne has arrived at the end of a long—and sometimes trash-lined—road. After years of complaints and concerns related to trash and recycling service, Friday ushers in a change for hundreds of thousands of residents. Here’s what you need to know about “The Big Switch.”

READ RELATED COVERAGE HERE

Out with Red River; in with GFL Environmental

The new trash collection company is the Canadian firm GFL Environmental. Founded in 2007, GFL has been acquiring new service contracts across North America and now operates in states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The company touts its “wide range of environmental and industrial services to businesses, communities and households, providing a consolidated and sophisticated approach to meeting our customers’ needs.” GFL trucks are easily identified by their bright green paint scheme,

Highlights of the City of Fort Wayne’s Solid Waste Collection Plan, effective July 1, 2022

Although garbage and recycling services will remain mostly the same for residents, there will be some changes to collection services.

  • There won’t be any changes to collection dates or A and B recycling weeks. Residents will continue to use their City-provided bins. Residents will continue to report misses to 311.
  • There will be a few changes to how the collection process will work commencing July 1. Materials in the City-provided cart will continue to be collected, along with three additional bags. Residents who regularly have three or more bags are encouraged to sign up for an additional cart for $2 per month to place additional trash items.
  • The final rate structure for customers hasn’t been finalized, but rates will be increasing at some point in the near future. We know that we won’t be able to continue to charge just $12 per month for all solid waste-related activities, nor will we set the rates so we overcharge our customers. Our goal is to keep costs as low as possible which is why the City would do bulk collections in-house. A customer’s solid waste bill includes more than just the collection of garbage and recycling materials. Elements that make up the solid waste bill include garbage/recycling collection, garbage disposal, recycling processing, leaf collection, salaries of solid waste staff, cart purchases, fuel/truck payments/utilities, billing, household hazardous waste, neighborhood cleanup program, and dumpsters.

Recycling Specifics

  • Here’s how GFL Environmental addresses the “dos and don’ts” of recycling:
The GFL Environmental recycling guide.
The GFL Environmental recycling guide.(WPTA)

Bulk Collection

  • Bulk collection will be performed by City crews until a permanent solution is agreed upon between the City Administration and City Council. Residents may continue to set out one piece of furniture or non-Freon appliance on collection day. Materials will be collected within 48 hours. Also, be sure to continue to wrap your mattresses and box springs.

Jobs

  • GFL Environmental has had only a matter of weeks to staff up since receiving the Fort Wayne contract, but says it is ready to take on the routes and responsibilities. The hiring process is ongoing, and open positions include driver, mechanic, operations manager, and other roles. Applications are accepted through various sites, including Glassdoor and Indeed.

Facilities

The GFL Environmental Fort Wayne Transfer Station.
The GFL Environmental Fort Wayne Transfer Station.(Google Earth)

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