Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 |
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HILO — The coronavirus pandemic is affecting trash disposal on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Hawaii County has started a rotation of county garbage transfer station closures because many workers have either been calling in sick or having to quarantine because they’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, West Hawaii Today reported.
That starts a weeklong process of testing and quarantine before they can come back to work.
It’s affecting workers from gate attendants to compactors and haulers, said Brenda Iokepa-Moses, deputy director of Environmental Management and acting Solid Waste Division chief.
“We’re following those appropriate protocols and we’re feeling it,” Iokepa-Moses said.
Transfer stations in Hilo and other towns will be closed two or three days a week. The closures allow workers to move among different stations as they’re opened.
Iokepa-Moses asked for the public to be patient. Workers don’t like the shortened hours any more than they do, she said. Fewer days mean busier days, more work and more frustrated users.
“I would like to express to the public to please be compassionate with the employees,” she said. “They’re doing the best that they can with staffing that we have.”
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