Updates Regarding Waste Management Service Delays
Sept 6, 2022 Update -
Please visit www.columbiaheightsmn.gov/refuseupdates for updates regarding refuse & recycling.
Situation Summary and Guidance:
Early this summer, Waste Management informed the City that curbside bagged and bundled yard-waste service would be halted indefinitely due to driver shortage. This also affected St. Paul, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights, Little Canada, St. Anthony, and Robbinsdale. Compost carts should still be emptied as scheduled. For the time-being, the City arranged alternative curbside pick up of yard waste, allowing for weekly yard waste collections for properties that notify the City. Residents must request the service at www.columbiaheightsmn.gov/refusesupport, or call 763-706-3727 by noon on Mondays prior to the Tuesday or Wednesday pick ups. Additionally, a yard waste roll box at 3735 Madison St is available for residents to drop yard waste bags and bundles into for the next few weeks. These alternative options are temporary and will need to be adjusted with the change in seasons.
During the driver shortage, Waste Management is also more likely to miss or delay a trash or recycling pick-up. Call WM at 1-888-960-0008 to report these issues.
We hope to get these messages out to all residents, but in light of those who don't go online or read the City newsletter, we encourage any resident reading this to share the info with their neighbors as opportunities arise.
This is an unprecedented and evolving situation. The City is doing what it can to address it with the budget and resources that it has, but no solution will be ideal until the underlying driver shortage can be resolved. The City is researching any and all feasible options within its control and will continue to post updates as they are available. Please check the City's website frequently for updates or call WM at 1-888-960-0008. Concerns, complaints, or requests? Please fill out the online support form at www.columbiaheightsmn.gov/refusesupport, adding any relevant details to the Additional Info box.
Yard-waste charges have been canceled for all properties until regular service resumes. Cancelation of these charges was backdated to May 1 with refunds credited on the following billing cycle. We apologize for these inconveniences and understand the frustration. We thank residents for their patience.
Update: Aug 3, 4 pm
Columbia Heights has received a high volume of curbside yard-waste service requests, which may delay pick ups by a day.
Update: July 29, 11:40 pm
The City has hired a startup company called Haul Star Sanitation (they only have one truck as of now) to empty the compost carts starting next week on the normal daily schedule to give Waste Management space to focus on their other services. This only affects properties that pay extra for the compost cart. Bagged/bundled yard-waste operations are unchanged from previous updates (see below).
Update: July 6, 12:30 pm
We would like to clear up some confusion about organics carts. While Waste Management has stopped picking up yard waste bags and bundles, yard-waste/organics carts should still be emptied as scheduled. Pick ups by request for yard waste applies only to bags and bundles. Fill out the service request form here by Monday at noon to request a Tuesday pick up of bags or bundles. Your organics cart, recycling, and garbage should be picked up as scheduled (though occasional delays are more likely under the current circumstances). If Waste Management missed a pick-up by more than a day or two or skipped your house, please first contact Waste Management at email@example.com and/or 1-888-960-0008 ASAP to report the issue and provide your address. Second, we encourage you to also fill out the service request form here, adding any relevant details to the Additional Info box, to help us track the scale of the problem.
Update: June 21, 10 am
There have been no major changes since the last update. However, the City would like to address a few details.
• The yard-waste collection bin behind Public Works is for Columbia Heights and Hilltop residents only. The bin has limited capacity and cannot sustain use from residents outside Columbia Heights.
• Please bag and bundle yard waste for the collection bin abiding by the same rules as if it were for curbside pickup. Brush must be bundled in manageable 3-foot lengths not to exceed an 18" roll. Tree branches cannot be larger than 4" in diameter.
• It was originally posted that Waste Management yard waste service would return by August. City officials are no longer confident in this estimate and cannot say for sure when WM will return to full yard-waste service. This page will be updated with revised timelines as they are confirmed.
Scroll to the bottom for further background detail on the Waste Management delays. Newest developments are bullet-pointed on top, and updates will be added as new information is confirmed. Thank you!
Update: June 13, 1 pm
• The City has been made aware of rolling delays in garbage pick-up. Some areas in town were missed by Waste Management last week. For any missed pick-up, please first contact Waste Management at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or 1-888-960-0008 ASAP to report the issue and provide your address. Second, we encourage you to also fill out the service request form here, adding any relevant details to the Additional Info box, to help us track the scale of the problem.
Update: June 10, 4:30 pm
• Citywide yard-waste curb pick-up will continue through the end of the day Fri, June 10, but some properties will be missed. Walter's Refuse and Recycling experienced higher volumes of yard waste than anticipated. Crews plan to be back on Saturday to complete the initial pickup. Walter's, which stepped in to mitigate the service delay caused by the Waste Management driver shortages, has been a huge help in getting the City through this situation, and the City is grateful for their support.
• Arrangements have been made for alternative curbside pick up of yard waste and bundles of brush for the rest of June and July this summer. Weekly yard waste collections will be on Tuesdays only for properties that notify the City. Residents will need to request the service on the Refuse & Recycling Support Page here, or call 763-706-3727 by noon on Mondays prior to the Tuesday pick ups, and notify the City that their address has bagged yard waste to be collected. This schedule may change depending on the number of requests.
• A yard waste roll box at 3735 Madison St is also available for residents to drop their yard waste and bundles into. Please put yard waste bundles and bags directly into the bin. Avoid using packing tape or other non-compostable materials when bagging and bundling.
• Mixed-use compost carts will still be emptied weekly on their scheduled day, if all goes as planned.
• This is a developing situation with several moving variables. Any details are subject to change on short notice. We will keep this article updated with new information as it comes in. Thank you for your patience.
The City of Columbia Heights apologizes for these inconveniences. Yard-waste charges will be canceled for all properties until regular service resumes. Cancelation of these charges will be backdated to May 1 with refunds credited on the next billing cycle.
Original Post, June 6:
Waste Management informed the City last week that curbside bagged and bundled yard-waste service will be halted due to driver shortage, possibly until August. This delay in service has also affected St. Paul, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights, Little Canada, St. Anthony, and Robbinsdale. In response, the City coordinated with Walter's Recycling and Refuse to collect bagged and bundled yard waste at the curb June 6 and 7 for the entire City. However, crews were unable to reach all households due to higher-than-expected demand. They returned Thu, June 9, and will continue through Saturday. Further arrangements are being made to address missed pick-ups after June 11.