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Waste Pro Starts New, Shorter Routes In Attempt To Improve Service, But Bins Must Be Curbside By 6 AM

| March 4, 2019

Waste Pro is focusing on developing new CDL drivers and shortening its routes. (Waste Pro)

Waste Pro is focusing on developing new CDL drivers and shortening its routes. (Waste Pro)

Waste Pro, Palm Coast’s contracted garbage collection hauler, began new, shorter pickup routes this morning (March 4) as part of ongoing efforts to improve service for garbage, yard trash and recyclables in the city.


Customer pickup days will stay the same. However, the time of day when the pickup is made will change because all routes now have new starting and finishing locations.

Customers are reminded that garbage and recyclables collection in Palm Coast runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Garbage must be placed at the curb no later than 6 a.m., or the evening before scheduled pickup, to ensure it’s not missed. Waste Pro is unable to return to a route to collect garbage that was put out after that day’s collection.

The garbage hauler, contracted by Palm Coast since 2007, has had a checkered record in the past two years as complaints have risen and fallen, depending on the month. The company went through a bad patch in late 2017, soon after getting a five-year contract renewal and a 9 percent pay increase from the city.

It had a good summer, with few fines recorded, but complaints started rising again in the fall. Fines against the company (levied by the city) totaled $2,785 in October and $1,780 in November. The company had a particularly difficult December, stacking up $3,210 in fines from the city, most since last March and April, when fines totaled $40,000 those two months, according to city records. The fines are triggered when routes are missed or pick-ups are delayed past a certain point. Over the holidays, a one-day shift in pick-up schedules caused by Christmas and New Year’s day led to a lot of confusion and stacks of garbage that stayed out all week in some parts of the city.

By January, Waste Pro had announced it was adding two new trucks and was hiring additional personnel, including supervisors, so it could shorten routes and be more responsive to customers. The personnel had to be trained before the new routes could be started. An employee’s death and another employee’s serious injury also likely spurred the company to focus on safety: in less than two months last September and November, one employee’s leg was severely injured when his own truck ran over him, and weeks later, a truck overturned and crushed a 21-year-old hauler to death.

Last year Waste Pro pointed to a driver shortage, in part caused by tighter rules on commercial driver’s licenses, as part of its challenges. The company launched what it calls its “Co-Heart program” to mentor employees to their CDL.

“Waste Pro is one of only two solid waste companies in Florida that works with the Florida DOT to offer such a program. Waste Pro’s Regional Operations Center in Sanford, Florida is a state-approved CDL testing site,” Melissa Catalanotto, a company spokesperson, said two weeks ago. “Since its creation, the Co-Heart program has led more than 150 helpers, drivers, and other employees to obtain their CDL. Graduates of the program have gone on to become lead drivers, supervisors, managers, and winners of Waste Pro’s $10,000 Safety Award – which Waste Pro is the only private company in the United States to offer. To qualify for the award, drivers must go three years without accidents, injuries, or property damage. None of the people who have completed the program have had an accident or property damage claim.”

Palm Coast Utility customers are advised to contact Customer Service at customer-service@palmcoastgov.com or 386-986-2360 if Waste Pro misses their pickup. The City works with Waste Pro to resolve all concerns. Waste Pro also provides garbage service for Flagler County’s unincorporated residents. But the county does not have a fine system in place to discipline the hauler.

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13 Responses for “Waste Pro Starts New, Shorter Routes In Attempt To Improve Service, But Bins Must Be Curbside By 6 AM”

  1. robjr says:

    Driver shortage? No the shortage is a pay shortage. There are many people with CDLs who don’t drive because of the subsistence pay.
    Waste Pro pays these men and women by the day. So if they shorten the route does the pay also go down?
    When the workers have to attend mandatory safety meetings it comes out of their pay, not the company because they work by the day. So the meeting is in the AM and then you go out to your route for the same day rate. And have the opportunity to work longer hours.

    Fines. The city fines Waste Pro. The city pockets the money, the tax payer does not get their trash picked up and still gets the same old monthly invoice for service not received. So who loses and who gains? The city does not lose either way. In fact the city makes money when Waste Pro is derelict.

    Has anyone other than me complained about this scam?

  2. Brian Bixler says:

    Wish I would have seen this last night. 6:00 am and they flew by. Oh well catch them Friday.

  3. Percy's mother says:

    It would be helpful if the citizens would do their parts to help these hard-working people get their jobs done; some do, some do not.

  4. Me says:

    Sounds like Waste Pro workers needs a union, to fight for their rights.

  5. Barbara Kipnis says:

    It would be nice to know WHICH routes start at 6 am and from what starting point. Putting out our trash the night before will guarantee racoons spreading it all over (they even open “racoon proof” cans). And I’m NOT setting my alarm for 5:30 am just for garbage!

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    We always have our garbage and recycle out early. Sometimes it gets picked up early sometimes it gets picked up late. Here in the past two months it’s been missed several times along with our neighbors.

    Also the trucks really fly down our street. I live on a no outlet street in the C section. We have plenty of kids and also elderly people around. I’m quite curious as to why the garbage trucls need to drive 10 to 15 miles an hour over the speed limit. They aren’t emergency vehicles on calls.

    And lastly why do cans and bins get tossed around? I’m always impressed at where they land LOL.

  7. bill nelson says:

    AMEN!!! NOT UNLESS THEY (THE COLLECTORS) PICK UP THE MESS. (YEAH,,,,RIGHT)

  8. Tulip says:

    I agree with Barbara, they should let us know which are the 6 and 7 am routes because of animals. I put mine out the night before and was relieved the next morning when everything was intact. They did my street sometime between 11:15 and 12:30, so if that’s my time, I wont put out the night before.

  9. gmath55 says:

    @ Barbara Kipnis – You can spray or pour ammonia on the garbage bags or inside the garbage can to keep critters out. That’s what I do and I haven’t had my garbage spread all over the place.

  10. Anonymous says:

    My comment is strictly related to service. We are in the B section near the Indian Trails schools. All of our drivers and crew (in our five years here) have been polite and, in some cases, have gone out of their way to their job properly. On a very rare occasion there might be a piece of debris that fell onto the ground and got left behind. Does it kill me to bend over and pick it up? NO. These crews work hard and I, for one, would not want their job for any amount of money, particularly in the hot weather when the back of the truck smells like a decomposing body! I think the vast majority of the problems lie with the company’s management in trying to watch their profit margin. I have also heard people say the trucks are speeding. Each of their trucks is outfitted with a GPS and the office can monitor their speed and location. I believe the size and weight of the trucks just make it seem like they are going too fast most of the time. I’m pretty sure if you observed a trash truck and a Smart Car on a road at the same speed it will look like the truck is going faster. Just my 50 cents.

  11. Mary Fusco says:

    I don’t know. I have lived in Palm Coast for 20 years. I have never had my garbage can opened by a racoon or any other animal. I put the lid on tight and snap it and put the garbage out the night before. These guys have a rough job because a lot of the citizens of PC are pigs. I have seen homes where it looks like the garbage has not been put out for a month. The garbage is not even in bags and most of the time it is running over and falling on the ground. These guys bend down and scoop up as much as they can. It’s disgusting. Cans tend to get tossed because these guys are most likely on a time schedule. I lived for 25 years in rural NY and my can usually got tossed. LOL. I’m still here to tell the horrible story. Once in a while we get missed but I just leave it out and it is picked up the next day. What I will agree with is that a lot of the trucks do go rather fast on residential streets considering that the houses are only a few feet apart. All in all, I’ve never had a problem and could only hope that my garbage pickup will one day be my greatest problem.

  12. TiaGanda says:

    This would be ideal if done right, but what did I come home to last night? Trash cans and recycle bins are strewn either on the lawn on on the road; mine was in the center of my driveway, and the lid was on the road. HAULERS, PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF MY PROPERTY, BOUGHT WITH HARD-EARNED MONEY!!!

  13. Seanpeckham says:

    Me’s post is the most sensible thing I have read today! If the county and the city employees would fight to bring back the unions we would eliminate a lot of these issues ! And I mean the blue collar workers! The little guy the guy in facilities,parks,fleet! Stand up! Everyone talk about what you know!

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