PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St Lucie leaders voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a new solid waste collection service.
City officials said in February and March alone they received more than 4,200 calls from residents complaining about the current service by now-former company Waste Pro.
"Well when I first moved here, I was being collected on time and over the last three months it just really went bad in my neighborhood," resident James Fort saod.
Fort said Waste Pro missed pick-ups sometimes weeks at a time.
"I wanted to be a clean city," he said. "You can't say we're a clean city if I've got trash cans out for a week or two weeks."
The City Council awarded a new contract to FCC Environmental Services Florida to service the city's more than 214,000 residents.
The contract brings weekly automated residential garbage collection and recycling program and will staff 110 people.
Residents will choose to receive either a 96- or 64-gallon cart.
There will also be a weekly yard waste program with up to 4 cubic yards per week and a once a month bulk waste program that limits 2 cubic yards of waste.
"We need a new provider to do the job and they have shown that they have the resources to in order to do it, and they've shown us that they have displayed the plans to make it happen," Port St Lucie Mayor Shannon Martin said.
Costs are expected to go up.
City officials said the new rates bring the city up to date with industry standards, and it was the best value for the services being bid upon.
With Waste Pro, residents were paying $23.73 per month for collection, disposal,and program administration fees.
FCC will charge $35.28 per month. That's a difference of $11.55 per month.
Commercial customers can also expect changes.
"We are working as diligently as we can to move through this process. We're going to get through it together," Martin said. "It's going to be a little bit more painful transition, may not be the smoothest, but we're going to work through that as well and as long as we all stick together and work together, we'll see a better Port St. Lucie and a better tomorrow."
Martin said the termination date with Waste Pro is Sept. 15 and expects there to be no lapse in service.
Residents can expect to find out their new pickup dates by the end of summer with services expected to begin in the fall.
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