ATLANTA - The COVID-19 omicron variant took off in late December. That timing coincided with the busiest time for the Atlanta Department of Public Safety.
The sanitation office got dozens of call-outs daily and managers did not have enough crews to service the entire city.
At the first meeting for 2022, the chair of the Atlanta City Council Utilities Panel called on the commissioner to explain how he is working around the manpower shortage.
His answers failed to satisfy the city leaders.
"It's a fluid situation," Al Wiggins Jr. told the panel.
With more than one hundred workers out in a department that is not very large, Wiggins said, he cannot say ahead of time which areas will be on the next stop.
At one point when the commissioner spoke about prioritizing Buckhead, he got some pushback from Antonio Lewis.
"How many crews do you need so Cleveland Avenue and Metropolitan can receive the same service as Buckhead," Lewis asked.
When the commissioner responded he could not provide a specific answer, Lewis called the response unhelpful.
"I have got trash in my house right now that has not been picked up," Lewis said.
Wiggins explained his department is not favoring one section of town over another.
His reference to Buckhead was because the average tonnage of recycling from the area is greater than other areas of Atlanta.