Twin Cities garbage company sees 17% increase in trash amid stay-at-home order

An Ace Solid Waste garbage truck completes trash collection.

Minnesota's stay-at-home order isn't just creating a lot of anxiety about when it will be over. One Twin Cities metro garbage company says it is also generating a lot of extra trash.

"I've been in the business 27 years and this is the biggest influx of additional materials,” said Julie Herzog, Ace Solid Waste customer service manager.

Ace Solid Waste says the amount of garbage it picks up, mostly in the northern suburbs, is up 17 percent over the last four weeks and recycling is up 19 percent. The company says garbage trucks that usually fill up twice a day are now needing to be emptied three or more times before the end of their routes.

"People are home all day versus the typical it was in the evening it was your family, you made dinner,” said Herzog. “Now, they are cooking three meals a day."

Ace says people are also ordering more from online delivery services like Amazon, which means more cardboard boxes and packaging materials in their garbage cans. The company is asking customers to break down those boxes and bag the packaging and styrofoam to keep it from littering their neighborhood.

"If we grab a box and it’s full of packing peanuts and it’s windy and it goes all over the street, so we're asking if you can please bag that in plastic bags," she said.

Ace says collection times also vary because of the sheer volume of trash, so it’s also asking customers to put their garbage carts out by 6 a.m. on collection day to prevent garbage day from being a waste.

"So we are doing our best,” said Herzog. “We'll make it through as well and we're asking for our customers help out there."