PALM SPRINGS —  COVID-19 financially crippled this international tourist destination, putting a halt to music festivals, tennis tournaments, golf tournaments and more. It has also dramatically impacted trash volume.

Cities from Boston, Mass., to Rutland, Vt., are seeing significant increases in residential trash volume due to people staying home, engaging in do-it-yourself home projects, and even housecleaning,

That’s also the case in Palm Springs where residents are ordering more food delivered than ever and, with businesses shuttered, relying on Amazon, both of which create trash volume — in some parts of the city.

Comparing April 2019 with April 2020 provides a snapshot of one full month of trash volume under the stay-at-home order.

April 2019 Residential Tonnage

  • 1029.11 total residential tons for the month

April 2020 Residential Tonnage

  • 1080.26 total residential tons for the month
  • Residential Tonnage increased by 51.15 total tons, an increase of just under 5%.

“Most apartment buildings and multi-family complexes have Dumpster service which is not included in the residential numbers,” Chris Cunningham, vice president at Palm Springs Disposal Services, told Uken Report. “We know their waste has increased but because their trash is collected by Dumpsters, it is classified in commercial tonnage. Commercial tonnage as a whole has decreased severely for obvious reasons.”

Commercial trash volume tonnage is another story, Cunningham said. There has been a decrease of more than 30% compared to the year prior.

April 2019 Commercial Tonnage

  • 2755.56 total commercial tonnage for the month

April 2020 Commercial Tonnage

  • 1889.24 total commercial tonnage for the month

In the commercial sector there has been a decrease of approx.…870 tons or 30%

“The commercial sector includes restaurants, bars, hotels and non-essential businesses,” according to Cunningham. “The decrease would probably be more but, as I said, the apartment buildings and multi-family complexes’ tonnage has increased due to the “stay-at-home” order.”

Industrial trash volume tonnage has also decreased significantly. Industrial tonnage includes larger venues such as large hotels and building projects that utilize compactors and roll-off containers. Most all of the decrease here is from commercial business but is categorized in industrial tonnage because of the type of containers used (compactors & Roll-offs).

April 2019 Industrial Tonnage.

  • 796.24 total industrial tonnage for the month

April 2020 Industrial tonnage

  • 294.53 total tonnage for the month
    The drop off here is over 500 tons or more than 65% from the same month as last year.

“We have seen huge drop-offs in the commercial sector, “Cunningham said.

Palm Springs Disposal Services, in Palm Springs, since 1972, is family-owned and operated with 75 employees.

As Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors has so often said, “We will get through this together.”

To that end, Uken Report extended the Cunningham and Wade families an opportunity to extend a word of appreciation to its employees,

“To the employees of PSDS, we are so very honored to have such a dedicated group of employees working to keep the streets of Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs free of trash. Thank you so much for continuing to do your job as an essential service through these uncertain times. Each and every one of you are considered family and we could never do this without you!


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  • Palm Springs Disposal Services Services: Palm Springs Disposal Services Services