Curbside Recycling Services Suspended

Curbside recycling services in Mahoning County were suspended Thursday until Republic Services-Allied Waste workers end their strike, local officials said.

The Mahoning County Green Team said curbside pickup was suspended for recycling because the company is allocating its resources for garbage collection.

Youngstown Director of Public Works Charles Shasho said in a release they were told there is no indication when recycling services will return.

Shasho asked residents to keep recyclables in their home and refrain from putting them on the curb until further notice.

“If you have recycling at the curb, we respectfully request it be returned to your home for the next scheduled service date,” Shasho’s statement said. “The Green Team is optimistic operations will resume by then and apologized for the inconvenience.”

The Green Team asked residents on Thursday to refrain from bringing recyclables to recycling centers because they are also affected by the strike. Girard residents also were asked Wednesday to refrain from putting garbage on their curbs until Sunday.

Republic Services drivers from Teamsters Local 377 went back on a sympathy strike Monday to support striking workers at the Carbon Limestone Landfill.

The union in a statement claimed Republic Services-Allied Waste intimidated workers and broke federal laws during contract negotiations. The company said customers should expect delays.

Teamsters said the company has taken up to $40 per month from employees paychecks for “tobacco” or “spouse” surcharges, even if they don’t smoke or their spouses have no other health insurance option.

The Teamsters and Republic Services have both claimed unfair labor practices as reasons for the strike. The two sides met twice last week but reached no agreement.

The company said the union began an “unlawful strike” because the union never made a wage proposal despite the company asking several times during their seven months of negotiations, Republic said in a statement.

The company has asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the union for unfair labor practices.

The Teamsters union also accused Republic of unfair labor practices. The 106-member union said the 23 landfill workers went on strike because Republic changed working conditions without bargaining with the union. They also said the company refused to provide “pertinent information related to bargaining.”

Republic officials have said the key sticking point in the negotiations is the union’s refusal to withdraw from Central States Pension Fund.

Republic Services-Allied Waste officials said earlier this month that their employees’ Central States Pension fund will be insolvent in 10 years. They tried to encourage employees to take a lump sum payment and re-invest in a 401(k).

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