Indy DPW sees increase of trash during pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Trash cans in Indianapolis have been overflowing and the Department of Public Works says they’ve seen nearly a 50% increase in solid waste due to the pandemic.

From February to March, there was a 26% increase in solid waste volume and from March to April there was a 19% increase.

Overall, the department says it’s more in the past three months than they’ve seen before.

The department says it’s common to see more trash between March and April because some families are spring cleaning.

But in 2019, it only increased by 30%.

Public information officer Hannah Scott says it was to be expected.

To handle it, the department suspended heavy trash pickup for April to help drivers offset the increase in trash. Citizens were able and are still able to take extra waste to the citizen’s transfer station.

The department did see the impact.

“Solid waste drivers did a really good job of working hard and staying on top of things,” Scott said. “I do know that their routes did take a bit longer to get through. So, they worked an extra few hours.”

The department says more trash is never good for the environment, which is why they pushed the idea of recycling to the 120,000 homes they service.

May numbers are still being calculated and heavy trash pickup was reintroduced during that month.