With coronavirus disrupting the economy at an alarming rate, the one comfort Americans have been able to cling to is that essential services are still operating. Lights are on, fuel for heat is being delivered, trash is being picked up. That could be about to change.
In Pittsburgh, garbage collectors are refusing to pick up trash. They’re worried about contracting coronavirus from the bags they pick up. WPXI reports:
Pittsburgh garbage collectors are refusing to do trash pickup, claiming they are not being protected during the coronavirus outbreak.
Workers gathered Wednesday morning outside the Pittsburgh Bureau of Environmental Services building on Railroad Street in the Strip District.
“We’re playing Russian roulette with every garbage bag that we’re grabbing,” employee Sheldon White said. “Half the people don’t tie their bags, so when the stuff spills out, they tell you to pick it up. There’s Kleenexes that people blow their nose and cough in.”
Workers said they want protective equipment and hazard pay.
The workers were sent home with pay Wednesday morning and were told to come back Thursday, when normal service is expected to resume.
WPXI’s Liz Kilmer broke the story and posted this video of the upset public works employees:
— Liz Kilmer (@LizKilmerWPXI) March 25, 2020