Waste hauler Republic Services says the issues that have caused frustrating delays for some residents’ trash pickups in recent months are improving.
An official with the Arizona-based company — which is the main waste collector licensed in Prairie Village servicing a majority of residents — told the city council Tuesday night that the Johnson County suburb is its “number one priority.”
This comes after months of service delays in Prairie Village, at times resulting in trash piling up for weeks in some neighborhoods.
Republic blames staffing shortages
- Tyler Riordan, Republic’s municipal sales manager in the metro area, told the city council on Tuesday that the company is now nearly fully staffed locally.
- All routes are currently assigned to a driver, he said, but there are still no additional drivers who can sub for someone who is taking a sick day.
- Riordan said, in response to a question from Councilmember Greg Shelton, that he hopes to hire one to two additional drivers as soon as possible to fill that gap.
Residents should now call local number with issues
- Riordan admitted issues with Republic’s national call center may have created additional frustrations with Prairie Village residents.
- “The call center kind of gives a canned answer sometimes of, ‘Hey, we’ll be out there in the next day,’ without knowing the local specifics of what’s going with driver weather delays, things like that,” Riordan said.
- He said that Linda Scott, a local operations clerk, is now directly available to field Prairie Village residents’ concerns and can be reached at (816) 521-3122.
- City Clerk Adam Geffert said residents can also call (913) 381-6464 to alert the city about missed trash, recycling and yard waste pickups.
Prairie Village fined Republic for December delay
- The city levied a $1,000 fine for missed pickups on Friday, Dec. 30 — which was the second week in a row those routes had been missed following extreme cold and snow the week before.
- Geffert said the fine came because Republic did not inform the city beforehand that there would be delays on Dec. 30 route, a provision outlined in the contract Republic has with Prairie Village.
- City Administrator Wes Jordan said Republic of its own volition credited the city for delays prior to Dec. 30.
- Geffert said there are no plans to terminate Republic’s contract as Prairie Village’s exclusive waste hauler, which is set to expire in 2027.
Company now tracking driver routes with tablet GPS
- This in intended to provide live updates and track drivers’ routes to help the city and Republic catch missed pickups, Riordan said.
- The tablets, new hires and communication changes are all in the early stages, but Riordan said missed pickup complaints from Prairie Village are already down.
- “I’m confident in our team, I’m confident in our drivers that we have now, that we’re going to get back on track,” Riordan said.
Go deeper: Read up on Republic Services’ delays across Johnson County — not just in Prairie Village.