PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It's been a long summer of missed garbage and recycling pickups for people in Port St. Lucie.
The city nears the end of its contract with Waste Pro and it's just one week from the launch of its replacement, FCC Environmental Services.
Monday, the city and staff with FCC held an open house at the Port St. Lucie Community Center for people to learn more about the new service.
"I felt that there was effort made to say, 'Hey, this is going to be a new Port St. Lucie. We're cleaning things up. It's not going to be how it used to be,'" said Natalya Thomas, who attended the open house. "So I just feel very optimistic that things are going to go be looking really well for us going forward."
People at the open house commented that they're cautiously optimistic, and one thing they're looking forward to is consistency with their trash pickup.
"It's been a little rough cause everyone leaves their garbage out for weeks on end," said Ernest Yanez, who lives in Port St. Lucie. "You've got raccoons and squirrels and everything and just the smell going up and down the block."
This as FCC Environmental Services is set to take over solid waste pickup in Port St. Lucie in just seven days.
Families like the Yanez's attended the open house to learn more about the new service.
"It'd be nice to get rid of all the collected trash that's been in the neighborhood for two-plus weeks. Yes, it's still sitting," said Melanie Yanez.
The new trucks by FCC are automated, so a machine will pick up the garbage bins, recycling and yard waste all on the same day with three different trucks.
"There's only one driver on the truck," said Joseph Sandora, senior general manager with FCC Environmental Services South Florida. "There's actually an arm that comes out and picks up the cart, dumps it in the truck and sits it back down."
Each house will get a new trash bin and will use the recycling bin they already had issued from the city.
Anyone who hasn't gotten new bins, city officials said everyone should receive them by Monday.
Pickup days are broken down into different days of the week.
"We tried to route it to where one of their original pickup days, so if they went on a Monday or Thursday, they'd either go on a Monday or Thursday," said Sandora. "So they still have that repetition in their mind."
Staff said there is a large volume of trash in need of pickup and ask residents to be patient while the crews get caught up and established on their new routes.
Residents are asked to recycle old bins for yard waste. Otherwise, residents are asked to make sure they print out this sign from the city website and attach it to the old trash can so they can dispose of it.