PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — City leaders in Port St. Lucie are scheduled to head back to court with Waste Pro, the city's waste contractor, on Tuesday.
For months, the two parties have been at odds over delays in waste pickup.
Waste Pro officials have gone before the city council several times stating the company remains short staffed.
City leaders said Waste Pro is planning to exit the city's contract by September and that the city is in the process of taking bids from new contractors.
They said they hope to have a new contract finalized by May with a new start date by September.
"We're looking to get the highest level of service at the best possible price and, given the state of affairs with the way the economy is right now and the way employment is, we expect that to come at a higher cost, because we haven't bid this contract since 2006," said Carmen Capezzuto, director of neighborhood services.
The city has received thousands of complaints from residents since last year.
Capezzuto said the city's waste contractor is responsible for servicing roughly 81,000 households and 1,100 businesses.
According to Capezzuto, the city is looking to streamline the waste pickup process.
He said the city is in the process of purchasing new, larger carts for garbage pickup for residents. He said residents are also being asked to schedule pickups for bulky waste items.
Until Waste Pro can sufficiently provide services at the existing contract's level, Capezzuto said, the city has hired Optimum Services as a sub-contractor to help with yard waste pickup.
He said the company has about 20 pieces of equipment.
Public works crews have also been pulled to assist with yard waste pickup.
"Because Waste Pro isn't sufficiently providing that service up to the contract levels, we will then compensate our contractor within the current payment structure that we have in place," said Capezzuto.