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Dissatisfied, Beverly Beach Quits Waste Pro and Returns to Flagler Beach’s Garbage Haulers

| July 18, 2019

beverly beach garbage

Out of the gate: A Flagler Beach garbage truck. The city will once again haul garbage for Beverly Beach residents. (© FlaglerLive)

When it comes to garbage, nobody does it better than Flagler Beach. Beverly Beach residents found that out quickly after their town government too hurriedly dumped its garbage contract with Flagler Beach last October and went with Waste Pro, the private contractor that provides service for Palm Coast and Flagler County.

“After one week of it, I had phone calls like you would not believe,” Beverly Beach Mayor Steve Emmett said. “And they let us know. So what we’re doing is what the public tells us they want.”

Waste Pro has had its issues with Palm Coast and Flagler County in recent years, with both governments’ elected officials getting the same sort of phone calls because of spottily shoddy service, though the company has been striving to make adjustments, shorten routes, add staff and supervisors and work with the two governments on improvement plans. But losing the contract in Beverly Beach suggests that the company’s woes in Flagler County are not ending.

Waste Pro service was generating its share of complaints in Beverly Beach–a town with about “500 residents with 200 occupied dwellings,” according to the city’s mayor–but the initial error was more the town commission’s than the garbage hauler’s. Last summer Emmett and the Beverly Beach council feared that Flagler Beach was going to raise its garbage rates 10 percent. Flagler Beach had, in fact, considered doing so. But it never went through with the plan. Despite being “very satisfied” with Flagler Beach’s garbage haulers, in Emmmett’s words, Beverly Beach voted in September 2018 to switch to Waste Pro by that November 30. Emmett informed Flagler Beach in a letter even as he thanked the city “for providing excellent customer service to the residents of Flagler Beach.”

Steve Emmett. (© FlaglerLive)

Steve Emmett. (© FlaglerLive)

He and his commission had jumped the gun. The Flagler Beach City Commission that very month had approved a budget–without an increase in garbage rates. Beverly Beach didn’t learn of that until a town resident informed its commissioners on Dec. 28. “This came as a shock to me and the commission,” Emmett wrote Flagler Breach Mayor Linda Provencher on the last day of the year in 2018, “and we wonder why that decision was never conveyed to us. We did not sign our contract with Waste Pro until November and would have had time to cancel the change and continue the great relationship we have enjoyed with Flagler Beach.” Then again, all it would have taken for any of Beverly Beach’s commissioners, its mayor or town clerk was one phone call, or a stroll down to Flagler Beach City Hall, to figure out that the 10 percent increase had vanished. So it was too late.

“I don’t want to say we made a mistake,” Emmett said of Beverly Beach’s mistake. “We did what we thought was right for our town in reference to finance.” He was justifying the back and forth to the Flagler Beach City Commission as Flagler Beach was preparing to take back Beverly Beach, almost no questions asked. “Bottom line was we had to make a decision as to whether get it cheaper through Waste Pro, which we did, but what we didn’t realize was that Waste Pro–”

“Plays by their own rules,” Flagler Beach City Commissioner Marshall Shupe said, finishing Emmett’s sentence at last week’s commission meeting. The Flagler Beach commissioners were gracious, merely welcoming Beverly Beach back. The contract language runs over 40 pages long, but Shupe summed it up in five words: “Whatever we get, they get.”

The only issue in the contract was its severance clause: it was initially written to call for “mutual agreement” before either side could bail.

“I don’t like the mutual agreement verbiage,” Flagler Beach Commissioner Eric Cooley said. “When we get into mutual agreements, we get into like what we have with the building.” He was referring to the city’s ongoing wrangles over the Wickline Center on South Daytona Avenue, a city-owned building that Flagler County has controlled for years, because of restrictive contractual language. “We need to have wording in there where if we need to separate, we can separate and we don’t need a mutual agreement. I do not want to be locked in on waiting on another party that keeps us, we’ll call it held hostage, for whatever reason. We need to be able to end the agreement if something crazy happens. Because we have the same issue going on now with our building, with the county.”

Commissioners agreed to include a cluase that gives Flagler Beach or Beverly Beach the right unilaterally to quit the contract with a 90-day notice.

Otherwise, “We just go back to the way it was,” Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom said.

Beverly Beach’s Agreement With Flagler Beach for Garbage Service

5 Responses for “Dissatisfied, Beverly Beach Quits Waste Pro and Returns to Flagler Beach’s Garbage Haulers”

  1. Agkistrodon says:

    I always know when Waste pro has picked up my garbage, Cans are scattered across my property, and they ALWAYS leave some dropped garbage for me to pick up…………..Then there is the whole “Recycling” thing that is ACTUALLY NOT recycling, recycling bin to Waste Pro is simply another garbage bin………..

  2. Edward Walsh says:

    I agree with above comment,they can’t throw your can far enough, garbage always left to blow into A1A.

  3. Nancy Walsh says:

    As a resident of BeverlyBeach I am delighted to see we are returning to the excellent service we had. Flagler Beach always had timely service, pleasant workers.
    As for our mayor and commissioners, they are dedicated and work hard for their residents. Mayor Emmett has always been the first to step up if there’s a problem. The commission works to keep our little town beautiful and efficient. So, if as was written, they jumped too quickly it was with the best of intentions. What is more important is they listened to the people and fixed the problem. Thank you, Mayor Emmett and Commissioners.

  4. Willy Boy says:

    Waste Pro worker set my can upright at the end of the drive, and replaced the cover. Yay? Truck pulls away and there’s a large, wet, stinking spot in the street . Boo! It’s the nature of the beast.

  5. kaye cambalik says:

    Yeah….finally we are done with Waste Pros….I lived in Flagler Beach and there waste company was always on time…tidy, nice guys do the work..infact offered when someone was ill to bring the trash bag down the stairs….We never had cans all over the place, and no litter…The current company as noted throws the cans, drops trash and good luck finding your can lid…worse part was never knowing what time the cans would be picked up…So glad the change has been made….

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