‘It’s my highest priority right now, because this community deserves more and better service,’ City Manager Jim Landon said.
City officials threatened action against trash hauler Waste Pro during a March 6 City Council meeting, saying Waste Pro hasn’t been completing pickups.
“Our residents pay for that service to be met. This is getting rather frustrating,” Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland said at the meeting. “I think we’ve all been very patient through the storms, and we understood that that was taxing on our waster hauler. ... I am running out of patience with getting emails of not having residents have garbage pickup. They are paying for a service, they deserve that service. We have to find a resolution.”
Waste Pro spokesman Ron Pecora told the Palm Coast Observer that Waste Pro is engaging with the city to work things out.
“We are working closely with all levels of the city to ensure our service meets the needs of Palm Coast,” he said. “This is a very important contract, and our local and corporate offices are addressing these concerns.”
Holland said County Commission Chairman Greg Hansen told her Waste Pro had told the county that it was having trouble keeping enough staff as employees moved to construction jobs. She asked City Manager Jim Landon if Waste Pro had communicated with him about missed routes.
“I share your frustration, along with all our residents,” Landon said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that a basic service that people should be expecting — the level of service we’ve had in the past has been good, but right now it is subpar. In fact, it stinks. And yes, Waste Pro tells us it’s because they can’t find employees in the market today. That’s not our problem. That’s not our residents’ problem.”
Last year, Landon said, the city fined Waste Pro more than $8,000 for not picking up trash.
Palm Coast has a consultant that helps with contract enforcement, Landon said, and city staff met with them earlier in the week and expect to have a proposal about the Waste Pro issue soon.
“I’ve already put our city attorney on notice that if it doesn’t change quickly, then we will start a legal process to bring them into compliance with their contractual obligation,” Landon said. “I’m tired of excuses. I don’t want to talk any more. We need to see action from them, and that’s the message I’m trying to send at this point. And we will fine them every chance we get, because we believe it has to get up to top management.”
Landon asked residents whose pickup has been missed to contact the city rather than Waste Pro.
The council decided to have the city send Waste Pro a letter indicating that the city will not continue service through Waste Pro if the problems aren’t fixed.