HUDSON — City residents must keep their recyclables an additional week after an anticipated staffing shortage from a COVID-19 outbreak in the Public Works Department canceled the Nov. 18 collection, officials said.
Superintendent of Public Works Rob Perry said Hudson’s Thursday, Nov. 18, regular recycling pick-up is canceled and city residents should hold onto their recyclables until the next scheduled collection on Nov. 26, or Black Friday.
Perry expects a staffing shortage after six department employees tested positive for the coronavirus Monday and state health officials to institute a mandatory testing and quarantine period. The department employs 16 people.
Holding recycling should not create additional problems, Perry said Wednesday.
“Recycling doesn’t go bad,” he added. “If they hold onto it for a week, it’s not a public health issue.”
Two public works crews complete the recycling pick-up once per week, requiring a minimum of six employees.
Perry postponed this week’s recycling pick-up to be proactive, he said.
The COVID outbreak could also impact upcoming garbage collection.
“I’m cautious about garbage pick-up Monday and Tuesday,” Perry said.
The superintendent is waiting on additional direction from contact tracing workers from the state Health Department to determine what services will be possible in the coming days, he said.
City garbage pick-up requires three employees, but if drivers — who have special licenses — are unable to work, service could be impacted.
Recycling habits in the city of Hudson have drastically increased since the pandemic began, Perry said. Crews handled an average between 6 and 7 tons of recycling per week, which has swelled to 11 to 12 tons weekly since March 2020.
Perry said the pandemic has increased the number of items people have shipped to their homes, resulting in more recyclable materials. The public health crisis also pushed more people moved to the region.
“A lot of the houses were AirBnBs and weekend rentals,” Perry said.