Less than a week after Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon announced that the city was fining Waste Pro for "not doing their jobs," Flagler County commissioners also expressed frustrations with the company during a public meeting.
We can’t let this go on. And we’ve talked to them and we’ve talked to them, and we’re not getting what we need."
— NATE McLAUGHLIN, county commissioner
A resident brought the issue up during the comment period of the Nov. 6 commission meeting, saying Waste Pro's pickups were inconsistent and that the company had been unresponsive to questions.
"Our community has had — for at least two years — an ongoing problem with Waste Pro, and it just seems to be getting worse," Palm Coast resident Bill Clay said. "What they pick up one day and what they pick up the next day is — it’s like a crapshoot. And talking to Waste Pro, you might just as well be talking to a brick wall."
Commissioner Nate McLaughlin had heard similar complaints from constituents.
"I've had so many complaints in my district," McLaughlin said. "I think what I want to see, with the board's indulgence, is a presentation from Waste Pro kind of to defend what's going on there. We can’t let this go on. And we’ve talked to them and we’ve talked to them, and we’re not getting what we need."
Commissioner Greg Hansen, a Palm Coast resident, agreed.
"You can’t count on Waste Pro to pick up when they’re supposed to pick up. You just can’t count on it," he said.
Commissioner Charlie Ericksen said his own personal experience with the waste hauling company had been positive.
"Waste Pro's been extremely good for me," Ericksen said. "The last storm we had, I ran out in the backyard, picked up all the branches — and I had five bags — I put it up on the curb, they took it away that same day."
"I think it's related to who's driving, what truck ... and some are more thoughtful than others," County Administrator Craig Coffey replied.
The county does have standards for how much debris and how many trash cans Waste Pro is required to pick up, Coffey said.
Waste Pro's services have been "hit and miss," and the county has had issues with the company over the past two years, Coffey said. After Hurricane Irma, he said, the county didn't relieve Waste Pro of ordinary waste pickup duties.
There were a few streets in Marineland that were missed because the trucks couldn't get down them right after the storm, but otherwise, Coffey said, normal pickup should have continued.