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St. Johns County residents forced to drop off yard debris due to staffing shortages

There was so much debris dropped off Wednesday that the county needed a second dumpster to handle the load.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, staff shortages have affected several businesses and civil services.

In St. Johns County, staffing shortages forced the county to delay debris pickup. As a solution, the county opened up a location for residents to drop off their yard debris themselves.

Wally Boehme was one of the residents who dropped a carload full of yard debris that he said had not been picked up for over a week.

"It's just one of those things," Boehme said. "Kind of expected. You have more and more people getting sick."

There was so much debris dropped off Wednesday that the county needed a second dumpster to handle the load.

"It's kind of a drag," resident Troy Wakefield said. "It's what we pay for." 

The workforce shortage began in the spring, according to Republic Services. The company needed 10 laborers on Wednesday, for example. However, only one showed up.

On top of that, the COVID-19 surge has forced some employees to stay home either because they have the virus or were exposed to it.

"The pandemic is out there," resident Lindsay Murphy said. "We have to take care of our people."

Boehme said he understands the reasons for it and will accept the inconvenience.