July 14, 2021 3:38 PM
Waste Management Call Center Extended Wait Times
Waste Management is aware that you may be experiencing some service issues in the City. Like most, our industry is experiencing a severe labor shortage. Which in turn is impacting curbside services as well as other facets of our service portfolio such as, response time, call center wait times, inventory, container repair, roll off services, etc.
Because of this, we think it is prudent for you to know what we as an organization are facing at this time.
This shortfall is certainly not for lack of effort. We continue to face CDL driver shortages prevalent across the county. As I am sure you are aware by listening to the national news, one of the most severe shortages in labor has to do with CDL licensed truck drivers, and Waste Management are not exempt from that. This deficit, coupled with an increase in waste due to people working from home, has recently caused us to occasionally get behind on pickups and/or caused us a delayed response time.
As an organization, WM is making every effort to actively recruit, hire and train. We have hosted multiple job fairs, offered incentives such as signing bonuses and referral incentives, competitive wages and offered additional benefits in attempt to retain and hire staff to fill the gap.
The Norton operating district recently had 11 Open CDL driver positions of which 6 have been filled and these new hires are still in the infancy stages of their training. We do have a CSR (customer service representative) new hire class that began training on 7/12 and these new agents will enter production Mid-August which will help mitigate some of the call center delays.
Month to date the call center is trending 20% OVER their residential call forecast. This is primarily due to the operational delays we are experiencing for trash, recycle, bulk and yard waste coupled with requests for bulk and white good collection. New England Market Area has been sharing residential calls with our Capitol market area since last May so we do have resources to lean on. However, many market areas including theirs are experiencing the same driver shortages resulting in the operational delays.
Therefore, we are over call forecast in most areas and due to the high wait times in the residential call queues, customers are using email and chat to communicate with us which in turn is placing us further behind in responding to those inquires.
The problems created by this labor shortage and increase collection times are exacerbated by the current shortage in truck parts, which makes it difficult for us to keep our trucks on the road. The Covid-19 pandemic has completely disrupted the parts supply chain as shipments are delayed, re-routed and quarantined. These delays can sideline vehicles for several weeks at a time. Since the onset of the supply chain crunch, we have had a significantly larger percentage of available trucks sidelined for maintenance and repair. When major repairs are needed on trucks, they can be out of service for more than a month while we wait.
Furthermore, when we cannot get parts to service our newer fleet because the parts are on backorder, therefore we must utilize older spare trucks which have less capacity and as a result takes us longer to pick up your trash and recycling and also requires more trips to your designated disposal facilities causing us further delay.
I expect we will experience more service blips as we head into July. While we will continue our efforts to resolve these issues internally to allow us to provide your citizens the superior service they expect, we ask the City and its citizens to please be patient during this difficult time.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may be causing you and your staff. Please feel free to reach out to WM any time in the event you have any additional questions or concerns on this matter.