Livonia city councilman picks up trash amid staffing issues

“It’s not typical that members of an elected body ask to go to work on the back of one of our trucks,”

One of the loaders working the back of the GFL garbage truck in Livonia for the past two days could keep up the pace despite it being his first day on the job.
One of the loaders working the back of the GFL garbage truck in Livonia for the past two days could keep up the pace despite it being his first day on the job.

LIVONIA, Mich. – One of the loaders working the back of the GFL garbage truck in Livonia for the past two days could keep up the pace despite it being his first day on the job.

“I hear people’s concerns. I understand people are frustrated with trash pickup being delayed so I felt it was important for me to get a better understanding of what these people are going through,” said Livonia City Councilman Rob Gjonaj Donovic.

He called GFL and asked to go out and see what the issues are. Just like other industries, there is a labor shortage despite bonuses and upgraded wages, and COVID has disrupted the supply chain.

“Now they’re working longer hours, picking up more trash and doing more work with half the labor,” Donovic said.

“It’s not typical that members of an elected body ask to go to work on the back of one of our trucks,” said GFL’s Joe Munem.

GFL said Donovic, who is in the Army National Guard and recently returned from deployment in the Middle East, did a great job. A few residents did spot Donovic on the truck but most had no idea who was at their curb.

“People were so nice,” Donovic said. “They were passing out sandwiches, water, and candy bars. They know these guys and appreciate them.”

More: What is causing delays in trash pickup schedules across Metro Detroit?


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