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Leaving the Garbage Business for the Oil Business: Truck Driver Bail For Better Pay

By John Mott Coffey, with News Mississippi affiliate WQNZ

NATCHEZ, Miss.–Waste Pro’s garbage collection has been slow recently because three truck drivers have quit for better-paying jobs in the booming oil business in Wilkinson County, said district manager Doug Atkins.

New replacements have been hired and service should be back up to speed in early November.

“After we get these drivers trained, the rhythm will be back in there,” Atkins told the Adams County Board of Supervisors on Monday. “We should have it all back in rhythm within the next two or three weeks.”

Waste Pro is the contracted garbage collector for Adams County and Natchez.

Three Waste Pro truck drivers quit in one week, forcing the company to borrow employees from other Waste Pro divisions who are unfamiliar with Adams County’s collection routes, Atkins said.

He noted Waste Pro’s normal workdays have increased from 8 hours to 11 hours as the trash collectors struggle to stay on course on time.

Adams County Supervisor Mike Lazarus said constituents have complained about their garbage not being picked up at the normal times.

“Y’all throw them for a loop when y’all do that,” Lazarus told Atkins. “I think we’ll get more (complaints) about trash than if we were raising taxes.”

The increased oil-drilling activities in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale area call for more truck drivers in southwest Mississippi. “It’s tough to compete with the oil companies coming in,” Atkins said.

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