Local waste hauler Republic Services is committed to improving services at Avon following a flurry of complaints from residents in recent months.

Municipal Sales Manager Dave Kidder told Avon City Council Sept. 19 that the novel coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for their operations, but they are committed to addressing the issues.

“We, like every other industry, have had to deal with more than we have had to deal with in the past year and a half,” he said.

Yard waste volumes remained high.

Kidder said labor shortages are delaying pickups, with about 110 daily residential routes in their service area and just 95 drivers.

Republic Services is competing for commercial drivers more than ever, he said.

“We will master it. It’s just gonna take a little longer,” Kidder added. “We certainly understand the residents’ frustration. Nobody gets more frustrated than me when we don’t get itineraries done.

The carrier has been hiring since February and has reassured the council that it will remedy the situation.

Ward 1 Councilman Bob Butkowski asked Kidder if Republic Services would consider reversing a 3% price increase invoked in August under the current five-year memorandum of understanding with the city signed in 2019.

Kidder said he would look into the matter, but noted that their costs have increased across the board.

“We pay more for everything we do,” added Kidder.

Council Chairman Brian Fischer praised Republic for improvements in communicating with residents about changes and delays, and said it has improved 100 times.

The frustration dates back to an Aug. 2 work session following complaints from several Lorain County municipalities over delayed yard waste pickup.