Custodial service changes take effect

Facilities Management cut about $18 million and 63 custodians.

As a result of recent budget cuts, custodial service changes on the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Twin Cities campus took effect Monday âÄì saving Facilities Management about $3.2 million per year. The changes include less frequent trash pick-up in buildings and 63 less custodians on staff. âÄúQuadsâÄù âÄì the groups of four bins for trash and recyclables âÄì will continue to be picked up daily, but office trash pick-up will switch to once a week, Brad Hoff , chief administrative officer in Facilities Management , said. About $18 million was cut from the departmentâÄôs overall budget of $195 million, making changes like these necessary, Hoff said. With the hiring freeze, retirement incentive offer and voluntary severance package, none of the 63 custodians had to be laid off, Hoff said. As part of the changes, each custodianâÄôs cleaning area is larger, but they also have fewer tasks to complete in their area, he said. âÄúWe hope that they will have an equal amount of work,âÄù Hoff said. Hoff said the biggest change is desk-side trash will be picked up once per week rather than daily. The University was the last school in the Big Ten to provide daily pick-up. He said the day trash is picked up varies by building and floor, and employees are being asked to empty food scraps in the communal quads to prevent rodents. âÄúWeâÄôre asking each person to do a little bit,âÄù he said. Before the changes were enacted campus-wide, Hoff said a pilot program revealed that people recycle more often without daily pick-up. âÄúThey were being more cognizant of what they were throwing away,âÄù he said. Read WednesdayâÄôs Daily for more information.