COVID-19 has affected every aspect of American life, and trash collection is not exempt. Workers who collect garbage are asking local residents to have some patience and to give them some slack.

Apparently, the pandemic is taking a toll on workers with the Department of General Services in Albany. The department is responsible for collecting garbage and yard waste.

According to News 10, The Commissioner of the Department of General Services, Sergio Panunzio, says that COVID-19 is taking a toll on employees who collect yard waste throughout the country, and Albany is currently being affected.

Mr. Panunzio says that his workforce is down by 10 to 15% due to COVID-19. He says that employees are either sick or have been exposed to the disease, and they are being quarantined.

Patience is what Mr. Panunzio is asking for. He said, “We are not exempt from the pandemic. So, we have a situation where we are concerned about our employees first and maintaining a level of service. You lose a body, you lose a component of a service that you provide. So, we are very thankful for our residents who are very patient. We are through this all together”.

We are fortunate here in Albany that they are putting the collection of yard waste at the bottom of the list. I’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has affected some other communities. During the summer months, I personally witnessed trash bags piled high in alleyways and in front of homes.

We all want our services to return to “normal“, but we’re not there yet. Mr. Panunzio reminds us that his department is also responsible for snow removal, so hopefully, he will have enough employees to keep our roads safe.

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