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Waste Pro sends cease and desist letter to Port St. Lucie leaders

Waste Pro garbage man collects trash in Port St. Lucie
Posted at 4:22 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 17:52:32-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The trash talking continues over garbage collection in Port St. Lucie, but Waste Pro wants it to stop.

The company sent a letter to the city to stop what Waste Pro called "false and misleading disparaging statements."

READ: Cease and desist letter from Waste Pro to Port St. Lucie

The city’s contract with the garbage collection company ends in September after months of declining service. A new company will take over then.

The letter from Waste Pro and its attorneys to the city of Port St. Lucie lists five statements from the city that Waste Pro claims are false. But city leaders told WPTV on Monday they only speak the truth.

"It’s frustrating. We pay taxes expecting to get what we’re paying for and it’s not being done," said resident Scheila Beres.

Beres never really knows when the trash will be picked up in her Torino Lakes neighborhood.

"Just leave it out. It doesn’t look nice in the community," Beres said.

Beres is one of so many frustrated neighbors in Port St. Lucie who want to put the lid on the trash troubles.

"We have maggots, flies everywhere. It’s disgusting," Beres said.

"The letter is intended to muzzle the city from talking about how we got to this point in time," said Port St. Lucie City Manager Russ Blackburn.

Blackburn is speaking about the cease and desist letter the city received from Waste Pro’s attorneys on Friday, demanding the city stop making "false and misleading disparaging statements" as the legal battle between the two rages on.

In one example of the ongoing feud, Waste Pro said that in a June 22, press release from the city, the city stated that after suspending recycling at Waste Pro's request, garbage collection has continued to decline.

But Waste Pro said that statement is patently false, claiming that as the city is well aware, Waste Pro has been bringing in crews from divisions outside of the area to provide additional assistance.

"We certainly strongly disagree with the points made by Waste Pro’s attorney. We believe we’ve provided factual information to the community," Blackburn said.

Meanwhile, people like Beres said they continue to deal with unreliable trash service. To ease the strain, the city is now leasing nine garbage trucks to help reduce the wait time between pickups.

"It certainly impacts our resources. These are folks who might be out on stormwater or roadside maintenance, and instead they are driving a rented garbage truck," Blackburn said.

The additional city trucks are first focusing on pickup issues reported through the 1PSL customer service system. To report an issue, click here.

Waste Pro's attorney said she received a letter late Monday afternoon from the city of Port St. Lucie, denying the allegations.