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Waste Pro hears concerns at town hall

By Staff | Oct 31, 2010

Container size was the issue most on the minds of residents who took part in Waste Pro’s town hall meeting on Saturday. Some thought them too big and unruly, others liked the convenience and space they provided.
Ian and Lynn Rosebush really hadn’t had the opportunity to make a decision one way or the other because they didn’t receive any. The Rosebushes recently bought a foreclosed home for the purpose of turning it into a rental property, but when the new containers were rolled out a few weeks ago, their rental property was passed over.
With tenants occupying the property for the last few weeks, garbage has started to pile up.
“Our tenants put out their old trash cans, and they just took the old cans away,” Ian said.
But the Rosebushes feel confident that Waste Pro will solve their problem as they were promised the new containers within a few days.
The problem, Ian said, was the phone number provided by Waste Pro to call in complaints was going to a phone bank in Illinois, far removed from Cape Coral.
“We didn’t know we were calling Illinois, we kept being told two to three weeks, then another two to three weeks,” Ian added.
The help line has been moved to City Hall, where Waste Pro representatives are now taking phone calls, according to Councilmember Kevin McGrail.
McGrail said all the process will continue to improve over the coming weeks, and that Waste Pro was saving the city money and keeping it cleaner.
“As we get all of the final solutions into place … service will continue to smooth out,” McGrail said.
Waste Pro Regional Vice President Keith Banasiak said Cape Coral was experiencing the largest transition of a waste service provider in the state of Florida, and there were bound to be a few mistakes as the transition unfolded.
Some of the difficulty has been training drivers, who are used to operating manually, on the new automated trucks and systems.
“The process of going to full automation is not like flipping a switch,” Banasiak said.
He added that Waste Pro was looking for a way to offer smaller trash containers, but were still working on the methodology of supplying those containers.
That came as good new to Walter Specht, who has continually railed against the container sizes at city council meetings.
Specht said he needs to be able to fit the trash container inside the doorway of his garage. Right now the trash container is simply too big, he said.
“It looks like they’re going to address the issues … I’m sure everything will shake out,” Specht said.
Southwest Cape resident Shirley O’donnell said she was already happy with the service.
“The guys (Waste Pro) are doing a great job. If this is all that people are complaining about, they’re doing a great job,” O’donnell said.
For the Rosebushes, they believe they will eventually like the size of the new containers, when they eventually get some.
“We like the big cans, they seem pretty durable,” said Lynn Rosebush.
Roughly 40 residents attended the town hall on Saturday. Councilmember Pete Brandt was also in attendance.