Teton County, WY refuse centers in 'dire straits' due to staff shortages
- Administrative staff are filling in at a Teton County, WY scale house and recycling center due to a staff shortage, as reported by Jackson Hole News & Guide. Julianne Fries, the county's director of human services, said the program is in "dire straits" according to the News & Guide.
- As tourist season begins and the flow of waste increases, Teton County's waste division is considering changes to service levels. "We're weighing the options," Teton County Engineer Sean O'Malley told the News & Guide. "There are risks or downsides to reducing services that if you get people out of the habit, it's hard to get them back in the habit. That is a concern."
- Between the scale house and the recycling floor, the county is down four employees. To attract applicants, the county is offering recruitment bonuses.
Teton County isn't alone in struggling to fill jobs. The waste and recycling industry is already facing a nationwide driver shortage which has had tangible effects, like a delaying collection in Omaha, NE. To alleviate this problem, many industry groups are targeting more veterans and women, yet it's crucial to widen the pool of industry applicants even further.
Even though average pay in the waste industry is higher the nationwide median for personal salary, the industry faces problems with its reputation as dirty work and extreme concerns about safety. As more young people begin to enter the workforce and baby boomers begin to retire, the industry will likely face more recruiting problems from the new pool of workers. Administrative employees stepping in is a short-term solution for Teton County, but it's indicative of an industrywide labor shortage that may become more prominent in the near future.
- Jackson Hole News & Guide Trash, recycling faces dire worker shortage
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