Workers for Advanced Disposal fighting for shorter routes, higher pay

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Over a dozen workers for Advanced Disposal protested their growing routes on Wednesday.

These men pickup garbage for a living and say everyday they put their health and safety at risk. They hope that something can be done about that.

“Healthy? It’s not. All these hours that we work here it’s something ridiculous so it affects me and my family,” said Anier Fernandez, who’s a driver for Advanced Disposal. “Because when I get home at 7 o’clock at night, eat, shower, go to bed. What time do I have for them? What time do I have for my kids? None.”

So, on Wednesday morning, these drivers organized and went on strike. Drivers say the trucks aren’t safe to drive, so they left them sitting. They’re willing to let trash sit on the curb in Lehigh Acres’ neighborhoods too.

According to Lee County Communications Director Betsy Clayton, “About 25% of Area 4 received regular trash pickup today by Advanced.” This means 75% of the trash for that area was left to pile up.

“The routes in Lehigh are getting bigger and bigger,” Fernandez said. “Garbage is increasing every day and we are still getting paid the same thing, we aren’t even able to finish the routes.”

Anier Fernandez says the goal of the strike is to get Lee County’s attention. They pay for Advanced Disposal to pick up garbage in Lehigh Acres, East Fort Myers and Alva.

A spokesperson for the county told WINK News they were not aware of any personnel issues.

“We feel like garbage. That’s what we feel. We feel like we are garbage. That’s how everybody feels here. Garbage!” Fernandez said.

Expect the strike to continue and trash to pile up until the drivers get the changes they want.

Lee County says they are working with Advanced Disposal to remedy the situation.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.