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Toledo trash volume up nearly 20% in 2020

Nearly 200k tons of trash collected; 40k from demolition debris
Toledo's fleet of garbage trucks brought in nearly 40,000 tons more trash to the Hoffman Road Landfill in 2020 compared to the year before.
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Hoffman Road Landfill workers already had a tough year dealing with the pandemic -- and with everyone else staying home more than usual, it was their job to keep even more trash from piling up.

“We were fraught with absences due to COVID, whether quarantining [out of caution] or employees who actually had it,” says Paul Rasmusson, director of public service for the City of Toledo. “In 2020, we brought in 198,500 tons... we haven’t had that kind of volume in over 20 years. It matches the national trend as well -- a 20% increase in MSW, or municipal solid waste.”

That figure includes what was hauled away from demolition sites throughout the city: “There was about 40,000 tons of demolition debris -- and during 2020, we wrapped up with the Land Bank a tremendous amount of home demolitions and lot cleanups.”

The city contracts trash pickup out to Republic Services. While the curbside carts are one-person operations, the bulk pickup requires two -- not optimal for social distancing, though protocols are still in place.

“Those [bulk items] are collected with the traditional packer trucks, or rear-load garbage trucks, with more than one individual on the back,” says Rasmusson. “Republic is taking every concern and caution to keep their employees safe, just like we do.”

Rasmusson hopes 2021 will ease up the workload, and thanks the sanitation workers for an often-thankless job: “It was not an easy year for us at the landfill -- being short-staffed with increased volume really presented its challenges -- but the team really rose to the occasion, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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