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City of Columbia hiring to help counter yard trash collection delays

Open interviews will be held on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. beginning on Jan. 12.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The City of Columbia is holding open interviews in an effort to clear up ongoing delays in yard trash collection across the city.

The department is looking to fill about 30 current vacancies.

"We're thinking of creative ways to actually get our word out there, we've actually advertised on Indeed, we're actually advertising on ZipRecruiter, always advertising through the city of Columbia and we thought hey, let's just have an open interview process, so we had that for the first time," said Robert Anderson, Columbia public waste director.

Ten people walked in for interviews Wednesday and the department will continue this opportunity every Wednesday going forward until they fill all their positions.

The news follows similar issues across the country in trash collection as COVID and other factors prevent departments from operating at full capacity due to vacancies.

"We've heard that other municipalities and other governments are facing the same issues we are," Anderson said.

This goes for other areas in Lexington county. Chapin is in the interview process for hiring a new waste management operations superintendent and West Columbia's running a week and a half behind on their trash pickup with four sanitation positions open.

Some of these cities and towns are considering offering signing bonuses and other incentives.

"We expect to have employees come out of this in a few weeks and actually get them in our operations, get them trained up and put them on the street making the services to our citizens," Anderson said.

To counter the staffing issues, the Solid Waste Division is now looking for general labor, non-CDL truck drivers, CDL truck drivers, and CDL operators. Those interested can apply online at ColumbiaSC.gov/employment or use services from Indeed or Ziprecruiter. Applicants should look for "Maintenance Assistant - Solid Waste and "Equipment Operator, Senior - Solid Waste."

Open interviews will be held on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. beginning on Jan. 12. Interviews will be held at the city's public works facility at 2910 Colonial Drive in Columbia. Interviewees should bring their driver's license, vaccination card, and social security card if available.

More information can be found at ColumbiaSC.gov or by calling the Solid Waste Division at 803-545-3800.

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