Polk Co. landfill sees spike in traffic, 750K more pounds of trash due to stay-at-home order

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – All that cleaning, cooking and renovating we’re doing at home has led to a spike in garbage being taken to landfills.

Polk County has seen a 30 percent surge in visits to the landfill and 750,000 more pounds of trash, compared to the same time last year.

“It’s put a strain on our resources and personnel in terms of collection,” said Lauren Lengyel, the communications specialist for Polk County Waste & Recycling. “With the greater number of garbage out there, it’s just additional chaos.”

Due to this increased demand, there was a rise in some of Polk County’s 142,000 customers experiencing “miscollections,” which means their trash was not picked up.

“Instead of two trips to the landfill on a route on a given day, they’re taking three so things are taking a little longer and we’re not able to collect as much,” she said.

There are also reported delays at the drop-off site at the landfill and holding times on the customer service line.

8 On Your Side asked – what’s being done to fix it?

“We’re utilizing our customer service agents and doing things on the customer service side, reporting, being in contact with our haulers to let them know what’s going on, to ensure that those essential services are maintained and taken care of,” she said. “We’ve been told by our haulers that they have implemented additional resources in accommodating our customer service needs.”

Lengyel told 8 On Your Side delays have started to improve.

David Towler is taking advantage of the extra time by doing home renovation work.

He visited the landfill in Winter Haven Friday to drop off a load.

With his family home, he’s generating a lot more trash. So are his neighbors, he notices.

“It’s like all that all down my road. The trash cans are overfull, I’m talking about overfull,” he said.

If your trash is not picked up, you have to report it to the county. You can call 863-284-4319 or submit a service request by visiting https://polkfl.qscend.com/311/request/add.

Haulers are required to pick up trash by 3 p.m. the day after a request is made.


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