Republic Services will be collecting brush this weekend

During a city commission meeting on Tuesday, Republic Services provided an update on the brush pick-up delays and the efforts to restore their service levels.

Republic Services said they are expected to be back on schedule by Saturday into section 4 and will continue to run trucks at 65 hours a week as they see necessary if heavy brush continues to be an issue over the next several weeks.

“We intend on keeping emergency management trucks in place a little longer in case they are needed for hot spots should they arise,” the presentation reads.

Republic Services said they will get started early on Section 1 on what is considered the “Free Week” (June 28-July 2) and run again the normal Section 1 during the scheduled dates of July 5-9. After initial pass throughs, the second run through should be lighter, the presentation reads.

Republic Services said the goal was to get back to schedule by the end of May and they had already implemented overtime hours to 65 hours a week for all brush drivers, but due to the additional rainstorms they had to push the date to the second week of June.

“We have most recently reported and remain confident that we will be back to our normal schedule by June 19, pending any further weather matters,” the presentation reads.

According to Republic Services, the overall trends of the volumes being collected clearly draws the picture of what happened and why the delays occurred.

The presentation reads:

>> January – Standard brush/bulk collection. Republic Services on schedule. Average tonnage 1,671 tons collected.

>> February – Freeze event. Standard brush/bulk collection. Republic Services on Schedule. 1,465 tons collected.

>> March – An incremental increase. Some residents begin clearing up brush not really cutting and clearing everything as they were waiting to see if the plants would bloom again. 2,100 tons collected. 43% increase to February, totaling 635 more tons.

>> April – Same trend continues as March. 2,207 tons collected.

>> May – Residents come to realize shrubs/trees/brush not coming back. Major cleaning cutting takes place and volume shoots up. 2,465 tons collected. 68.3% increase to Feb. Totaling 1,000 more tons.

>> June – Week one tonnage recorded at 758 tons.

“Publicly, I would like to say thank you. For those who have been patient,” officials said.

“I know a lot of people has been frustrated, but please understand that we have been working extremely hard in trying to keep these guys going. Every single day, at that kind of hour with a 65-hour work week and keeping them safe, and the public safe, that is priority.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com