April 09, 2020

City Solid Waste Operations Announce New Collections, Landfill Actions



RAPID CITY, SD--Effective immediately, the City's Solid Waste Division is implementing landfill and solid waste collection procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the actions are to ensure efficient solid waste collection, landfill operations and maintaining the health and safety of the public and City solid waste employees.

            Among the actions being implemented:

            *Per existing City ordinance, collections staff will no longer exit their vehicles to retrieve garbage (bagged or loose) outside of the City-issued containers.  Residents are asked to keep trash materials bagged and placed inside the containers and to not dump loose trash material inside the container, or to place bagged garbage or other items outside the container for collection.  Collections staff will no longer exit trucks to pick up items placed outside of the containers or collect loose garbage, etc.

            *Per City policy, a valid utility bill issued within the last 12 months may be used for free disposal of a car load or pickup load of refuse at the City Landfill.  Use of multiple utility bills for large loads will not be allowed.  This action will reduce the number of vehicles using this service at the solid waste facility, thus reducing staff's exposure to the public. 

            "Vehicle traffic at our solid waste facility has doubled in recent days," said City Public Works Director Dale Tech.  "If this increased traffic and increased staff exposure continues, the City may have to temporarily suspend use of utility bills for 'free' disposal until the crisis has passed."

            *The City of Rapid City will continue to suspend yard waste drop-off service at the remote collection sites at Floyd Fitzgerald Stadium and West Boulevard North.  These sites promote the congregation of large numbers of the public, which is a contradiction of CDC social distancing guidelines. Servicing these sites also increases the Solid Waste Division collection staff's direct contact and exposure with the public.

            Residents on City collection can drop off yard waste at the Landfill or have their yard waste collected curbside if they place the yard waste in the brown disposable sacks.

            "Now more than ever, the City's solid waste services are essential to the functioning and health of our community," said Tech.  "Minimizing any negative impact to the City of Rapid City's ability to continue to provide these services is critical.  The expected increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases will impact our solid waste division staff the same as the rest of the community.  It is likely the solid waste division will see a reduction in available work force through direct COVID-19 cases or self-quarantine requirements resulting from direct contact.

            "Therefore, it is important and necessary the City take these steps to minimize impacts and exposure both to the public and to our essential staff members."

            Tech emphasizes it is the City's intent to provide basic solid waste services to the public throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  To achieve and maintain that goal, officials indicate these steps are necessary to ensure the Solid Waste Division is in a position to meet the long-term needs of the community.


Thank you,

Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator

T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551

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W: www.rcgov.org

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