Waste Pro begins service
Friday marked the first day of Waste Pro’s term as the city’s waste services provider.
And as the trucks and crews worked to adjust and learn the routes in Northwest Cape Friday afternoon, Waste Pro Regional Vice President Keith Banasiak said everything was going smoothly.
“Things are going surprisingly well,” Banasiak said. “I suspected a few more hiccups, but the guys are doing well with the use of the trucks.”
The biggest change is service for residents are the new trash carts, one for recycleable materials and one for traditional waste.
The carts are lifted by a hydraulic arms on Waste Pro trucks, that dump the carts’ contents and place them back on the ground.
These trucks are generally operated by a single driver, who pulls alongside the carts, which allows the hydraulic arm to grab hold of the container.
Banasiak said he was surprised by Friday’s success, in part, because all of Waste Pro’s drivers formally drove for Waste Management when that company serviced the city, and were still getting accustomed to their new trucks on Friday.
“They’ve had limited training time and are doing really well,” he said.
Waste Pro also had traditional trucks on Friday’s routes to pick up the trash not contained in the new bins.
Banasiak said some households were still using their old cans, and the company is working to solve the issue with the use of the traditional trucks and crews.
Banasiak himself was also tending to the routes on Friday, just to make sure the transition was as seamless as possible.
“We have extra staff out in manual trucks just to make sure everything gets covered,” he added.
Trash pick up days will not change for Cape residents, according to Banasiak.
The time on pick-up day may change — those used to getting their waste picked up early might now find trucks picking up in the afternoon — but no other major changes are expected.
Everlyn Vincenty, who lives along one of the routes serviced Friday, said she put out her old cans until she looked around and realized all of her neighbors had put their new carts out.
Vincenty had the chance to speak with Banasiak personally while he supervised the new routes, and said she had all of her questions answered.
“He told me to use my old trash cans for yard waste,” Vincenty said.
One point of contention for the new service has been the size of the trash carts, which some residents say are too large to move easily.
Vincenty said she had no problem moving the carts down to the street once she remembered to put them out.
Southwest Cape resident Walter Specht has spoken before city council numerous times on the subject, saying the carts are simply too large to handle.
Expecting service on Monday, Specht said the 94 gallon cart would take weeks to fill.
“Everybody is going to have them sitting outside their house for weeks on end to get it full enough to haul out to the curb,” he said.
Specht said he plans to continue to speak out the topic at city council, despite the Waste Pro contract being a done deal.
The city and Waste Pro entered into a five-year deal at the cost of $10,537,137. There is an automatic five-year renewal, unless notified by the city of intent not to renew, and another 5-year renewal if both parties agree, according to city spokeswoman Connie Barron.
As Waste Pro continues over the next week to adjust to the new routes, Banasiak said the drivers will continually get more accustomed to their new trucks.