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August 25, 2020

Upper Darby resumes recycling pickup after COVID-19 outbreak among sanitation workers

Trash collection returns to a winter schedule

Recycling Upper Darby
Upper Darby COVID-19 Sanitation Workers Nick Fewings/

Recycling and trash collection have resumed on weekly schedules in Upper Darby after a COVID-19 outbreak among the township's sanitation department.

The Upper Darby Sanitation Division has returned from a two-week quarantine prompted by a coronavirus outbreak among its workers. 

Trash is being picked up on its once-per-week winter schedule. Recycling is being collected on its regular once-per-week schedule too. Trash was being collected on the twice-per-week summer schedule when the outbreak occurred earlier this month

The entire sanitation crew, which includes 60-to-70 employees, was ordered to quarantine for 14 days after fewer than 10 members tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Delaware County Daily Times.

The decision to quarantine the entire sanitation department was "in the best interest of our township workforce and our township residents" and "in consultation with township employees and their union leaders," Mayor Barbarann Keffer said earlier this month.

Early this morning two brand new sanitation trucks left the yard with our regular crews. Trash is being picked up on the once per week schedule. Recycling is being picked up on the regular schedule.

Posted by Upper Darby Township - Government on Monday, August 24, 2020

The Delaware County township resumed trash collection on Aug. 10 after hiring temporary workers. But recycling pickup remained suspended until the workers returned. 

For the sanitation workers to resume operations, employees needed to submit a negative COVID-19 test result or a doctor's note clearing them to return. Employees were paid while they were self-quarantining. 

More temperature checks and staggered start times have been implemented to prevent another outbreak among sanitation workers, and only drivers will be allowed inside sanitation trucks.

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