Waste Pro could service trash pickup for all of Santa Rosa County by next year
Waste Pro could soon become the sole provider of all waste transportation services in Santa Rosa County, the latest addition in the seemingly endless history of the county’s garbage disposal negotiations.
After a decade of upheaval and changes to the various waste management and recycling treaties, the county says this has finally been done with the Emerald Coast Utility Authority. The ECUA informed the county in April that it had decided not to renew its one-year contract for garbage collection in the north end of the county, which ends on December 31, 2020.
The county states that ECUA has not given a reason why they choose to discontinue the service. Representatives of the ECUA did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.
ECUA is currently in an inter-local agreement to provide solid waste collection and recycling services twice a week in the north end of Santa Rosa County by the end of the year.
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In a letter dated April 2, ECUA Deputy Executive Director Randy Rudd informed Santa Rosa County Administrator Dan Schebler that “the ECUA intends to terminate the agreement at the end of its current term and continue serving in Santa County Pink to discontinue at this point “.
The ECUA has not yet announced that it will stop recycling services for which it has signed a contract at the northern end of the county. But District 4 Commissioner Dave Piech said he was not holding his breath.
“Am I personally nervous that you might stop at some point? Yes, ”he said.
The County Commissioners are currently negotiating with Waste Pro, which has a contract for waste transportation services at the southern end of the county, to handle garbage collection at the northern end. This is less than a year after Waste Pro met with district leaders and asked for a second chance after growing concerns and dozens of complaints confused district leaders.
And it wasn’t until February that the district considered putting its waste transport contract out to tender again due to Waste Pro concerns. But the Commissioners have since changed their minds.
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“I was probably the biggest voice on waste transportation contracts when I got on this board,” said Piech. “My first meeting with (Waste Pro Division Manager Rick) Chancey was because of complaints, there were problems on the south end. … He’s had a huge impact on the service we see on the south end. Now there will always be a problem or two with things that happen, nothing is ever perfect. But I can tell you, last fall, I received 50 emails a week about complaints about the service. I’m going to knock on wood now, I haven’t had any problems in probably three to four weeks. “
District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole agreed.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of increases in satisfying some of the complaints from Waste Pro, and honestly when Waste Management kicked us to the curb, Waste Pro was there to help us get out of it,” said Cole. “Now that we are being tossed back on the roadside at ECUA, I have no problem staying with people who are here and have proven themselves and made an investment in Santa Rosa County.”
The employees of the district will work in the next few weeks to revise the procurement processes and negotiate contracts with Waste Pro. The company would have to make a significant capital investment in the county if it were to double its customer base, including buying new trucks and hiring new employees.
County Commissioners said the company changed things over the past year. Chancey said he believed that after speaking with its bosses, the company was ready to negotiate with the county.
“I think we can do it, we’re happy to do it,” he said.
Annie Blanks can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8632.