A garbage worker in Killeen is getting a raise.
“Equipment operators in Killeen will be paid $17.35 to $26.03 per hour instead of $15.25 to $22.87. Solid waste service workers will be paid $15.25 to $22.87 per hour instead of $14.37 to $21.55. The pay increases are considered emergency pay increases and will take effect on the first day of the city’s next pay period,” the city said in a news release.
Wage changes for drivers and workers in the city’s solid waste department are an attempt to help overworked and understaffed workers.
The pay increases were approved via a directive motion at a Killeen City Council workshop on Tuesday and announced in a news release on Thursday.
Jeff Reynolds, the city’s executive director of public works, said: “These are dedicated employees who go above and beyond to provide essential services to our residents, and we want to compensate them appropriately.”
Killeen is short of 17 drivers and 1 solid waste worker. Part of the shortage is due to “poaching,” Reynolds said at a workshop on Tuesday. The Director of Public Works explained that new requirements from the Texas Department of Transportation have increased the demand for CDL drivers, causing an influx of private sector “poaching” drivers.
“We used to compete with other cities, but now that’s not always the case,” he said.
Another contributing factor to the labor shortage is an overworked employee base. The national average for residential waste collection per driver is 800 to 850 containers per day, according to Reynolds on Tuesday. Killeen drivers receive approximately 1,200-1,300 containers per day. This is a figure that he is more than 50% higher than the national average. Killeen spokesperson Janelle Ford said in a news release that the solid waste driver often works 12-hour days.
The reason Killeen drivers are overworked is largely due to bulk collection. Killeen’s bulk and brush collection policies now allow residents to easily line up large amounts of trash that are collected with their regular trash for an additional fee. Bulky waste can be an old recliner left on the curb or additional waste that doesn’t fit in the bin. officials said.
Therefore, the city will end free bulk garbage collection from May 30th to September 30th.
When bulk collection resumes, residents may need to call or book online for bulk collection. The difference between the two systems is that the latter allows drivers to plan ahead for excess trash collection. However, for the time being, there will be no bulk collection.
The City plans to revisit the topic of mass collection in October, when it typically holds a fall collection event. Until then, residents have been encouraged to dump large amounts of trash at the Solid Waste Transfer Station on State Route 195-12200. Residents can throw away up to £300 of trash on their first trip each month, but will be charged for each subsequent trip. first time. The transfer station is only available to Killeen residents and you will be asked to bring a copy of your most recent water bill as proof of residency.
Here’s how Killeen compares to similar cities like Temple and Copperas Cove in terms of salaries and benefits for solid waste workers.
Killeen — $17.35 per hour or $39,520 per year
Temple — $16.22 per hour or $33,737 per year
Copperas Cove — $14 per hour or $29,120 per year
Copperus Cove — offers health, life, dental, vision, and other benefits, with an annual valuation totaling approximately $16,544.
Killeen — Offers comprehensive life, dental, health and vision insurance, plus holiday and sick leave, and a myriad of other benefits. A complete guide can be found online at https://bit.ly/3Ltu0iE.
Temple — Provides medical, dental, vision care, and vacation, holiday, and sick leave. Longevity benefits, deferred compensation plans, employee assistance programs, supplemental insurance, and short- and long-term disability benefits are also available.