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“It Stinks,” Palm Coast Manager Says of WastePro’s Service as Mayor Speaks of Ending Contract

| March 7, 2018

The question Palm Coast residents have been asking with increasing frequency: Where's WastePro? (© FlaglerLive)

The question Palm Coast residents have been asking with increasing frequency: Where’s WastePro? (© FlaglerLive)

WastePro’s days in Palm Coast may be numbered.

Palm Coast government has contracted with WastePro for residential and commercial waste pick-up since 2007. It had been a solid relationship until WastePro’s contract was renewed just last June, though even then complaints were beginning to rise. Since then, residents’ complaints have piled up. So have city fines of WastePro for failing to fulfill its responsibilities—chief among them, not picking up garbage on days it’s supposed to.

WastePro is about to receive a bill for $8,365 in fines. It’s more fines than for all 12 months combined in most years. In 2016, the company racked up only one month of fines that reached $4,000, and most other months saw fines in the hundreds of dollars, not the thousands. But in 2017,  the fines surged to $12,310 just in the last four months of the year. The new year opened with $3,305 in fines for January.

So what took place at the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday evening was a matter of time.

“I just have one item,” Mayor Milissa Holland said at the end of what had been a very brief meeting. That elicited a sharp “ow” from fellow-councilman Steve Nobile, who knows: Holland’s items, rare as they are, are never minor or fluffy. This one certainly wasn’t.

“Our utility bill pays a service to a company. Our residents pay for that service to be met. This is getting rather frustrating,” Holland said, referring to WastePro. “I think we’ve all been very patient through the storms and we understood that that was taxing on our waste hauler because of not being able to bring in other haulers, and it took us time.” But, the mayor said, she was “running out of patience” with emails from residents saying WastePro was missing pick-up days.

County Commission Chairman Greg Hansen had told her that the company, which also provides service to residents in unincorporated Flagler, has been having trouble finding employees to hire. (County commissioners summoned the company’s local manager to address complaints at their end, but that meeting turned out to be more of a thank you session than an accounting, and the manager was sent back with pats on the back. The county does not levy fines on WastePro for any failed service.)

In an interview today, Holland was even more blunt. “I think we have enough communications with our residents to demonstrate that they have failed on the job,” the mayor said. Asked if she would recommend severing the contract if the problems continued, she was unequivocal: “Absolutely. If it’s not resolved, and they do not make sure they’re picking up garbage the days which they contract with our community, then they have left us no other choice but to look for an alternative, immediately.”

City Manager Jim Landon suggested those preparatory steps may already be in the works. He tried to out-blunt Holland Tuesday evening. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that a basic service that people should be expecting, and the level of service we’ve had here in the past has been good, but right now it is subpar,” Landon said. “In fact, it stinks. Yes, WastePro 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. They’ve been doing this for many years, they have labor issues up and down, they have to take care of it.”

The city has a consultant who helps enforce the city’s contracts. The consultant is preparing a plan to hold WastePro accountable. If that fails, “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 in compliance with their legal obligation to the residents of this community,” Landon said—not going so far as to suggest that there’d be a break in the contract. “I’m tired of excuses, I don’t want to talk anymore, we need to see action from them, and that’s the message I’m trying to send at this point. We will fine them for every chance we get.”

He had one recommendation to residents who want to lodge a complaint: “Please don’t call WastePro. Call us.” That, too, suggests that the city has lost faith in WastePro reporting failed pick-ups accurately.

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52 Responses for ““It Stinks,” Palm Coast Manager Says of WastePro’s Service as Mayor Speaks of Ending Contract”

  1. DisgustedinPC says:

    Its terrible service out here in Daytona North. I have called Waste Pro on several occasions only to be put off. They need a new company!

  2. mark101 says:

    just be careful the waste management company you have today, could be better than the next company Palm Coast brings in.

  3. Really says:

    Its a garbage service. Be more worried about your own misguided and misjudged lunacy, personal agendas, and wack policies. Try for once to listen to your constituants morons.

  4. Gee Gary says:

    I think they provide a good service. Id like to see anyone of these cry babies spend one day on the back of one of those trucks, even in good weather its a tall order! So what if they take an occasional extra day to pick up your trash, does it really impact your life that much to jeopardize a service that no one really wants to do. Who will do it if Waste Pro doesn’t? You?

  5. Terminus says:

    My main problem with WP is if trash falls on the road, they leave it. They don’t take the time and pick it up. The Recycle truck is the absolute worst. There are bottles left behind, not in my bin, but on my lawn, and they are legitimate bottles not from me. That truck also likes to park catty-corner and block the entire road.

  6. Hugh Jass says:

    I’m impressed with the Mayor, she’s a no BS kind of woman and isn’t taking any shit with these garbage companies. Plus It’s a real let down when you go outside and see your trash still sitting there like a child who missed the bus.

  7. Whatever says:

    Never had a problem in 10 years. In fact the service has been excellent since the storms.

  8. Lou says:

    Let WP hire hard working illegals if hard working Americans are not available.

  9. Perplexed says:

    I’ve never had a problem with any of the pick ups! I love the guys that take my trash. I often put out tons of garden stuff and fear that it is too much, that they will never take it all. They always do!

  10. Thomas says:

    I am very pleased with their service. They have consistently done a very good job in my neighborhood

  11. Tom says:

    If Wastepro is looking for help, all they have to do is go to the main intersections in town or under the water tower, or behind the library and there they will find plenty of people who are desperate for a job! Another point, did we not just give Wastepro an increase in there rate when the contract was renewed in June? What are they using the extra money on? Obviously not hiring new help or giving employees incentives so they stay on with the company!

  12. Concerned res says:

    Ive had several issues with them They’ve left the garbage can in the street many times and didn’t pick up the garbage twice. They picked up all the other neighbors and skipped our house. After complaining it never happened again

  13. Brigitte Barnswell says:

    I don’t have a problem with Waste Pro garbage it’s recycling part i have a large problem with. One particular person. The people before him were great they showed you respect. Some time ago the city sent out a list of recyclable list i kept it till it was memorized. He left things and i had to keep putting it in the garbage to be picked up. Then after x-mas the same year i had wrapping paper in a white garbage bag so i watched him he and i quote in front of me. He ripped the bag open i had told him time and time again that I don’t have the clear bag for the recycle. So picked everything in there and gave me the mangled bag and said we DON’T RECYCLE THIS STUFF but I’m going according to the list in a nasty way h does not care im only picking up what i have a list for so i put it in my garbage can and that he kept doing i complained but Management it didn’t help so i asked for another list to be sent still have not seen it. I don’t like being on a Merry Go Round. He still picks up my recycle. I don’t have a problem any more 75 percent of the recycling goes in the garbage. Hopefully something can be done about it.

  14. Brigitte Barnswell says:

    I’m sorry the comment was so long. This man is very very disrespectful man if he does not know, or cares about then he should be fined or fired. What I’m trying to say is as humans and respectful ones should not be treated like cattle no disrespected to the cattle. He still a grumpy man.

  15. Maddy swift says:

    Waste pro needs to pay more money to there employee’s. The cost of living in palm coast is expensive. They will never be able ro attract great workers for that money, they will always be a stepping stone for new cld holders until the find a better paying job.

  16. palmcoaster says:

    Before Waste Pro, we had for many many years after city incorporated in 1999, Waste Management and I believe even before we incorporated we had Waste Management. I live in PC since 1991 and never had to call them for not collecting my yard debris that was as much as I have today on my 1/4 acre lot with hedges and ornamental’s growing all year around and also the big yard debris left by hurricanes…They always picked all up…and we always had hurricanes. Now I see normal piles of yard debris seating in my neighbors lawns ruining their expensive to maintain sod for weeks to the point that when they pick up my stuff I feel just lucky!. One day few years ago our city administrators gave the contract to Waste Pro and I heard from the grape vine that Waste Management wasn’t given a fair chance. I asked our city elected and non elected and they told me then, that Waste Pro was less expensive…well I would have liked to see the original bids to believe that…Regarding the garbage pick up sometimes they forget to come…but is less offensive than the yard debris. All this inconsistency in service adds to the neglect that our city manager in spite of the request by the dedicated council woman, imposes in our old Palm Coast North of Palm Coast Parkway; specifically a shamefully littered Florida Park Drive just in the public owned Holland Park sidewalk and muddy right of way and all along it to Palm Harbor Parkway and same for Old Kings Road a real neglect and blight. While our taxes are always geared to fun projects around Town Center and surrounding areas given developers new plans. The “No litter 500 Fine” signs and enforcement is non existent North of Palm Coast Parkway in the mentioned above areas. I am sorry that I extended into a related issue but that is our sad reality. Our taxes for expansion expansion and beautification around developers new plans south of us and our old infrastructure is falling apart including our streets, drainage and sewer utilities North of Palm Coast Pkwy.

  17. Shark says:

    Holland and Landon are the only problem with this town!!!!

  18. elizabeth tullberg says:

    very good service.

  19. joe bagodonuts says:

    i am not defending WASTEPRO by any means because companies need to live up to what they signed up for. residents also need to be more aware of the way the put things out for collection. trash should be contained in bags or containers, recycling containers should not be piled so high that they spill over as soon as you lift them and flatten the cardboard.

  20. elizabeth tullberg says:

    I have not had a problem with the service of Waste Pro.

  21. Lisa says:

    I think they do a good job and are a reasonable price. The next company could have less pickups a week, not be dependable and be more EXPENSIVE which would be horrible!

  22. Gee Gary says:

    If your trash not being picked up one day is a let down you
    definitely need to get a Life

  23. gmath55 says:

    15 years in Seminole Woods and never a problem with the garbage. I spray my garbage bags with ammonia and that keeps animals and birds from making a mess. Recycle truck leaves couple of bottles once in awhile.

  24. capt says:

    I’ve only had a few problema in 9 years with Waste Pro and it was the recycle guy. . The Recycle guy skinny, chain smoker , tattoo dude that couldn’t keep the truck under 40 in a 10 MPH zone. When you asked him to slow down he gave you the middle finger salute. If he dropped something it would stay right on the ground. But I haven’t seen him in a while so maybe they fired him. My trash guys, fantastic and they pick up if they drop something on the ground.

  25. That's The Facts Jack says:

    We have not had an issue with WastePro but that’s because we are considerate to these workers. If they don’t pick up the trash one day they come the following day. The city continues to grow and the demand is just too high. Residents need to do their part, and put trash out when they are suppose to & stay inform. For example, after a holiday the trash days sometimes change. Yet residents do not stay inform & place their trash out. Another issue yard waste, again, inconsiderate residents just place it out loose, instead of bundling or putting in bags.Those are the same individuals screaming WastePro didn’t pick up. Maybe WastePro should reverse the fines for everyone who fails to comply on how to properly sort & place their trash/yard waste. As for the Mayor, she has been a disappointment. Business parking lots are filthy with trash, more trash on major roadways, streets in need of repair (Pritchard has a metal plate for over 2 months) damage streets signs in need of repair, lamp post …

  26. jadobi says:

    The fact of the matter is this: They are hired by contract to complete a task. They agreed to the task. It is their sole duty to live up to the contract, if they cannot, then they are to blame. Staffing, city growth… etc, all factors they should have accounted for. I have had a few problems, and apparently there have been enough complaints to the City that they have decided to respond. Its business. It happens.

  27. Linze says:

    They missed pickup last Friday and picked up Saturday
    People put trash out for pickup in recycle bins running over and blows all over
    I see brush in neighborhood that they just pass up all the time

  28. Just the truth says:

    No complaints on my end.

  29. Linda Johnsen says:

    Let me just say that the problems with Waste Pro lie as much with the people as the company.
    People do not follow the rules that make the garbage and recycle pickup a smooth process.
    I find very few people actually put certain items out on certain days. It is a mish mash of crap.
    My landlady is an example. She puts everything out no matter what it is! Piles of crap in no order at all.
    Certain days for garbage, recycle, toxic pickup, totally ignored. Not taking doors off of refrigs, not washing recycle items, paint cans on the curb on garbage day., etc. She is one of thousands. Before you put the company down, look at the fools who do not follow simple rules. These men and women are expected to just deal with this. Work on the people first as they are the true offenders. Slobs, that expect much and give little!

  30. Tired of the complaints says:

    I am sick and tried of hearing all the complaints from these residents. Really do we have nothing better to do. If your trash pickup is missed one day are you going to die? These men and women work there backs off for this community and all they hear is complaints. Maybe if everyone was a bit nicer things would be better. These men and women work in all weather conditions with minimal days off. They receive Thanksgiving and Christmas but then are required to work the following Saturday to make up for the one day. They have families and lives just like the rest of us. This community needs to focus it’s energy on helping instead of complaining. I have never lived anywhere like Palm Coast where we allow the residents to complain about something as minut as their trash pickup was missed by one day.

    And how many times has the city compared the number of complaints to compliments? Has the city researched the number of residents to the number of complaints? We need to look at all aspects and percentages of complaints.

  31. Scott says:

    We live in the C-Section and have never had a problem with their workers or service. In fact, they’ve always been very courteous and have never missed a pickup. The recycle guy used to toss our bins across the driveway which would irk me some, but he’s gone, and it really wan’t a big deal in the scheme of things. If they’re missing pickups, yeah, that’s not good and should be resolved. I hope they get their act together because the unknown of a replacement concerns me more.

  32. Charles (Chuck) Johnson says:

    Wait until they build the 348 Section (8) Apts that our illustrious auctioneer Mayor rammed down our throats with the help of soon, but not quick enough to leave, Landon. There is a pair that really deserve each other. We have not had any problems here with waste Pro. Our problem is her. What ever changes she makes, get it in writing, because she will smile and stab you in the back (Politically) at the next meeting and not even let you have a photo opt. She is really good at that!!!!!

  33. John dolan says:

    Our service has been excellent. I suspect the Mayor has eyes on a more favorable company to sign with. The problem is getting people who want to work and show up everyday!

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’ve live in the P section and they actually missed pick up on Mondays 3 times n a row. There were no holidays involved. I don’t really have a problem with this since they picked everything up early the next day.

  35. woodchuck says:

    I think it is a truck by truck basis.My guys always wave if they see me and are fairly neat,but I have heard some horror stories.

  36. r&r says:

    I e-mailed the city several months ago complaining about the late and the of pickup days for the recycled. I received a nasty e-mail in return. Some of the city’s response was that’s the way it is and if you don’t like it don’t recycle after all it’s not mandatory. Because of that response I’ll paid less attention to it and my crate for recycles is almost empty every week.

  37. Rob Jr says:

    There are those who think it is no big deal when Waste Pro misses scheduled pick ups.
    We are billed for 3 pick ups per week even if they show up once or twice.

    Would it be a big deal if the operator of a gas station charged you for three gallons of gasoline but turned the pump off once you pumped two gallons of gasoline?

  38. joseph Pulitzer says:

    Never had a problem with Waste Pro. Be careful what you wish for.

  39. hawkeye says:

    Never ,ever have we had any problem with wastepro ,I live in the F section and they pick up anything I put out. I’m at work when they come by ,and my wife usually talks to them and she says they are very pleasant and courteous

  40. waste pro, no waste amatures says:

    I did not get trash pick up last week (it came a day late) I did not get any yard waste pick up last week at all .. I once went 3 consecutive weeks without any yard waste pick up at all.. our city is expanding, waste pro is still the same size … I’m glad to see the attention paid to this by our City officials, albeit a bit late. Trash blown around, including bottles run over by the tucks, left all over our cul-de-sac after pickups that I clean up after…

    One time a waste pro worker came at my face with a broken wine bottle (long story) while AC/DC blared in the background – but good thing it was all on HD surveillance. To all who give this company heroic praise, I can only assume you are all wearing daily doses of extra strength rose perfume, with woollen covered sunglasses.

  41. L Ferrara says:

    I live off of Cimmaron and our guys are great, nice, take everything we put out – very happy with their service.

  42. palmcoaster says:

    Well looks like Waste Pro has also many satisfied residents served per the above comments and I am getting concerned what we maybe wishing for…as looks like every time they change something in Palm Coast is not for the better…I agree that some residents do not properly place their discards in the curb for pick up and do not clean up after when wild life goes thru it. Also the fines assigned to Waste Pro are useless…should be exempted as soon as Waste Pro comes back and collects what they forgot…and city calls back resident to confirm.

  43. Roll on 2 says:

    Maybe it’s time to go the route that Bunnell and Flagler Beach have done. Bring trash and recycle pickup in-house!

  44. Anonymous says:

    I have no problems with waste pro
    They go above and beyond. What’s really going on here

  45. Anonymous says:

    Problems with Waste Pro have been minimal and when the Bunnell Waste Pro office is contacted they take care of the problem. This is nothing more than Landon leaving and taking action against Waste Prof before he does and Holland is nothing more than a rubber stamp for Landon and Netts. I have no problem with their service, but I do have a problem with the Tax Collector collecting the billings for Waste Pro on our Property Tax bills annually. Flagler County is not in the accounting business to collect fees for anyone and they shouldn’t be adding anything to a property tax bill!!!!! This needs to stop, and Waste Pro needs to collect their own fees. Our tax dollars are being spent to do the work for Waste Pro that they should be doing. Shame, Shame, Shame.

  46. Jimmy Myers says:

    Never had a problem always give a Christmas gift just like the mail man paper person ect

  47. south florida says:

    ive really never had a problem until lately. they have been missing days. they broke my trash can by throwing it so much.

  48. AL says:

    I don’t have a problem and be careful of what you wish for. As for employing drivers off the street, drivers need a CDL and its not likely that anyone who holds a CDL is standing on a street corner looking for work. Jimmy Mayers, I’m with you. I give a Christmas gift to everyone who provides a regular service from lawn service to paper delivery. It’s not a bribe for good service, but a small token of appreciation for all they do. As for the chronic complainers, get a life.

  49. smarterthanmost says:

    For those of you complaining here is what the future has to offer. No more than one scheduled pickup per week. Mandatory containers that must be used and placed within three feet of the street. If there is a holiday, the scheduled will change by one day for that week. You will get less service, with an increase in cost.

  50. Chris A Pickett says:

    Most recently, it appears as though the “recycling” truck is simply a garbage truck. all the stuff from the bins is thrown all TOGETHER in the back, just like basic garbage. Where are they sorting this stuff?. Truth is THEY ARE NOT! And it seems just a wile back, AFTER the hurricane, the town manager had NOTHING but great things to say about waste pro in an open meeting…….so which is it LANDON?

  51. moreno says:

    I dont have a problem, I come from a city that went to a system that required a one man and a automatic type canister that the city gave you that everyone had to have and that was it.

  52. Lisa Pope says:

    We’ve had a great crew servicing our neighborhood for years. My daughter heard them coming and had to look out the window at them, and they always wave and honk the horn on the truck for her. They will roll back out elderly neighbor’s can back to her garage for her. I feel lucky to have the crew we do, and hope they don’t change, but maybe hire some more workers like this! Happy customer, wish others could have the same type of service!

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