BEND, OR -- Central Oregonians are stocking up on gas, medications and supplies, for fear local streets will be clogged with eclipse viewers over the next few days. Local garbage haulers are worried they’ll run into the same problem.
Bend Garbage and Recycling, High Country Disposal (HCD) and Cascade Disposal are moving up collection times by several hours, in an effort to avoid eclipse-related traffic problems. Brad Bailey is the President of Bend Garbage and Recycling and HCD. He tells KBND News, "Our biggest concerns around the eclipse timeframe are traffic and the inability to get our trucks to our service areas and into the residential areas in a timely fashion. So, we’ve decided to make operations earlier and our pickup times earlier and are asking our customers to help us by putting out their garbage and recyclables out the night before." For customers in and around Bend, trucks will begin at 4 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. for the next week.
But, Bailey says it’ll be even earlier in Redmond and Sisters. "For High Country Disposal, because it’s closer to the eclipse area and closer to Madras, we think traffic is going to be even worse up there and we’re going to start at midnight. So, we’re asking our customers there to have their garbage and recyclables out by 10 o’clock the previous day."
Collection days remain the same. Bailey says the time shift will only last through next Tuesday. "The main thing we’ve heard from people is their concern for being able to get where they need to get in a timely manner. That was the same concern that prompted us to change our schedules. We’ve met with the cities and counties and emergency response teams in order to kind of anticipate what might come, but that seemed to be the biggest inhibitor for us to be able to get our job done is to actually be able to get where we need to go." He adds, "We’re going to do our very best to get it picked up. Only in our most extreme situation of this event clogs the roadways, where even in the off hours we’re not able to transport garbage; that would be the only time at which we would have to interrupt service."
Eclipse Coverage on KBND is supported in part by Awnings Unlimited. Shade yourself from the sun with Awnings Unlimited at 5541-389-1619 and awningsunlimited.net.