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Labor shortage to blame for long-standing piles of garbage in Port St. Lucie

To date, residents have filed over 7000 complaints
Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 23:32:03-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — City leaders in Port St. Lucie are pleading with Waste Pro, the city's garbage service, to find a solution to long-standing trash in residential areas.

"Right now, we just don't have enough drivers," said Keith Banasiak, Waste Pro Senior Vice President.

To date, residents have filed over 7000 complaints.

Now city leaders are planning to hold a special meeting to address the pile.

"We have a contract and people expect for what they're paying to have the garbage picked up," said Shannon Martin, Vice Mayor.

Martin said there is no way the city could cut the contract with Waste Pro and hire a new company for nearly the same cost.

Banasiak said for the last five months, his company has employed as many as six sub-contractor trucks to help service the city.

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"We have actually had to take drivers and couple them up as a team because you can't send one truck without a helper," said Banasiak.

Waste Pro has hired a full-time recruiter to help combat the shortage.

Sign-on and retention bonuses are also being offered.

City leaders said Monday that it could be months before the service returns to normal.

"I need something tangible," said Jolien Caraballo, District 4. "I need a plan. I need an ordinance. I need something tangible."

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