Federal Pandemic Funds Offer Rare Opportunity for Waste and Recycling Investments

The funds offered by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds under the American Rescue Plan Act has given the opportunity to invest in infrastructure upgrades that may have been placed on the back burner for years on end.

According to City Dive,

Waste collection in Syracuse is still manual, she explained. “The way in which we do our solid waste collection really hasn’t evolved at all,” she said. “We’ve got these laborers lifting 50-pound cans hundreds of times a day and so, not surprisingly, our workers’ comp is very high,” she added. Dunham also noted that not having uniform waste receptacles leads to litter problems. Ultimately, it’s “all the things that you can imagine a sanitation operation that hasn’t really evolved with the time.”

When ARPA came around, the city decided to pursue upgrading its system to automated carts and arms. It’s “beyond time for us to to incorporate all the tools that are out there now to make this much safer for our employees, easier to understand for our residents, [and] create a cleaner city,” Dunham said.

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