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Judge tells Port St. Lucie, Waste Pro officials to 'roll up your sleeves'

Waste Pro truck
Posted at 3:54 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 17:24:30-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — More trash talking in a St. Lucie County courtroom Monday as the city of Port St. Lucie and Waste Pro USA continue their back and forth over who’s holding up their end of the deal, a deal scheduled to end in just a few months.

The city said they received up to 3,000 complaints a month at one point because of poor service from Waste Pro and had to hire a third party to help with yard waste that sat out for weeks in some cases.

When many residents of Port St. Lucie put out their trash, they wonder if it will be picked up that day.

Monday, representatives of the city and waste provider Waste Pro were back in court.

"We’ve had ups and downs since the beginning of this franchise agreement since early 2019," said Carmen Capezzuto of Port St. Lucie Neighborhood Services.

Capezzuto said yard debris has not been collected in a timely fashion for some time.

"Verified reports of anywhere from four to six weeks in some areas, to the point where the service was completely unacceptable," Capezzuto said.

The city sued Waste Pro last year claiming poor service. Waste Pro demanded the city pay back $1.2 million in charges the city has levied over the past few years.

Right now, Waste Pro is planning to exit its contract in September, three years early.

Judge Laurie Buchanan said Monday it’s time to get moving here toward some kind of agreement.

"Some point you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get it done. So as far as the parties themselves, I'm going to order that the parties themselves meet this week," Buchanan said.

The judge also asked the two sides within the next 15 days to get to meditation.

The city on Wednesday will hold a special city council meeting to get an update on where things stand with regards to getting a new trash provider in the fall.