Metro Atlanta trash company’s issues result of poor management, employees say

SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Representatives were allegedly told to lie to customers about when their trash would be picked up.

That was what workers at a local trash company told Channel 2 after our investigation showed trash had not been picked up at some homes for weeks in the City of South Fulton.

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Last week, Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln told you about how residents in South Fulton had not had their trash picked up in weeks. We found that other cities are experiencing the same problem.

“It’s very frustrating taking calls all day and not having a break,” one GFL Environmental employee said.

Employees at GFL Environmental told Lincoln that low morale is directly resulting in a pile-up of trash — at homes and businesses.

“Since the pandemic has started it has gotten very worse,” another employee said.

The employees whom we spoke with didn’t want their identities revealed, but said a lot of employees have walked off the job.

After verifying that they work for the company, they say high turnover, broken machinery and increased call volumes are issues leading to inconsistent trash pickups.

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“It’s so many callbacks, we have over 300 calls in queue and we never get a break,” an employee said.

An employee says she was instructed to lie to customers about pick up times.

“They told us to tell them we were going to pick it up in 48 hours, but we don’t ever pick them up,” she said.

“We haven’t had a trash pickup since the Friday after the Fourth of July,” South Fulton neighbor Tammi Smith said.

One employee told Lincoln that irate customers have shown up to GFL Environmental’s offices.

“Customers are actually coming up to the office making threats, threatening to kill,” a GFL Environmental employee said.

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Channel 2 told you that the city of South Fulton has placed this company on notice for delays related to broken equipment and staffing shortages and now we’re learning that Newnan city officials are doing the same by placing the city on notice this month for a breach of contract.

Newnan says the company that has missed trash pickups failed to provide monthly reports and isn’t maintaining working equipment properly.

We found the city of Grantville also echoed similar concerns in a July board meeting and areas in Douglasville, Coweta and Stockbridge are seeing reports of delayed trash collections.

Channel 2 reached out to GFL Environmental through email, phone, Facebook messages, and visited its office for a comment, but no one responded.

“How can you ride by, and a customer’s trash hasn’t been picked up,” an employee said.

“I pay for the service and here we are entrusting in a company to provide us a service that we are paying for and I’m not getting that,” Smith said.

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