Blizzard disrupts waste collection

Blizzard disrupts waste collection

Two feet of snow in Mid-Atlantic region keeps collection trucks off the road.


The blizzard that dumped 2 feet or more of snow on parts of the Mid-Atlantic states has postponed solid waste and recycling collection in some cities and counties in the region.

As the weekend of Jan. 22-24, 2016, unfolded, parts of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia received 2 feet or more of blowing and drifting snow, resulting in travel bans in parts of each of those states.

The blizzard’s weekend timing may minimize the effect on residential collections, though the widespread number of travel bans by cities, counties and state highway departments affected commercial waste and recycling collection throughout the region.

In New York, both the state of New York and New York City had lifted or eased their travel bans by the evening of Sunday, Jan. 24. The weekend storm, however, brought its heaviest snowfall to parts of Maryland and Virginia that may be less well-equipped to quickly clear roads and side streets.

An email alert sent by the Department of the Environment of Prince George’s County, Maryland, Sunday, Jan. 24, says, “All county-contracted residential trash collection services, including bulky trash, recycling and yard waste collection, remain suspended until further notice.” Adds the county, “Services will resume when road conditions improve in residential areas.”

Forty-eight hours earlier, the county had notified its residents that it suspended collection for Friday, Jan. 22, “due to inclement weather.” On Jan. 27, Prince George's County said it will resume waste collection on Thursday, Jan. 28, "weather permitting."

In Philadelphia, collection trucks had reportedly been outfitted with plows to help clear the city’s network of side streets before residential garbage collection could resume there. An alert posted by the Philadelphia Department of Sanitation Sunday, Jan. 24, states, “Trash and recycling collection has been cancelled for Monday, Jan. 25. Residents whose regular trash day is Monday must hold their materials until the next collection day, Monday, Feb. 1.”

The city has also notified residents that, “For the week of Jan. 25, all rear driveway collections are suspended. All trash and recycling collections should be set out front for pickup.”