GFL Environmental begins picking up Fort Wayne residents’ trash

GFL's bid gets accepted by the Public Works Board.
GFL's bid gets accepted by the Public Works Board.(wpta)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - The future of trash in Fort Wayne is bright.... green. Gfl Environmental takes over as the city’s new trash hauler on Friday.

Fort Wayne residents have had to deal with months and years of bad service from the old trash hauler, Red River waste solutions.

Enough was enough for the City early in 2022, and they decided to kick Red River to the curb, and GFL will fill the void.

For Fort Wayne resident Viola Edgar, she says trash service was never as bad as it was with Red River, especially with her trash and recycling sitting at the curb for most of the month of June.

“I’ve lived in this house for 65 years, it’s never been that bad.”

Frequent missed pickups and skipping routes all together are hopefully a thing of the past.

What will change with GFL in charge?

Jacob Diliberto with GFL says things like skipping trash days or driver shortages shouldn’t be a problem for them or any of the 83,000+ customers who they’ll be serving.

“In order to successfully accomplish our operational plan, we need 33 class b CDL drivers on the road every day. I have, in our house, 44 CDL trained drivers here, everyday.”

Some of those drivers came from Red River, making the switch just this morning, so some patience in the first few days will be required.

“It would be a conflict of interest to hire somebody while they’re working for a previous company, and we couldn’t bring somebody in, for liability reasons, to operate on our equipment. So, what we did was we designed, I’ve got a full team of support, my area safety director, extra route managers from other sites to run them through basic backing course. Race them through a skills test with the simulated cans in the back to make sure we have all of our boxes checked that they are safe to operate, and also, the routes are much smaller that they were before because we have more trucks. So, I have more time today than what would be expected of a normal red river route. So, it was the perfect timing of we bring them on-board, we get them through our skills test, they have a smaller route, they’re out there and I have all the support here to back up and making sure the boxes are checked.”

It would be understandable if Fort Wayne residents are hesitant of GFL, based on the recent history. Diliberto says if GFL does miss your house, they should be able to get to it quickly.

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“It depends on what time the call comes in. We have a digital platform and that allows any three one one call to be directly routed to me and my leadership team here. So, because we have that digital interface, we’re able to respond very quickly.” Diliberto said. “I have three sweeper trucks. So, these sweeper truckers are designed to respond to late outs. So, our goal that I’ve set for us is as long as we get the call by 2pm, we should be able to respond to it that day.”

So, with quick response, more trucks and more drivers, it fills people like Edgar with hope when they see their carts being emptied “I’m very hopeful...I hope it’ll be good for now on,” Edgar said.

Your collection days will not change. Also, there will be no trash or recycling pickup on Monday, July 4th, so service will be delayed by one day.

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