Waste collection company sparks controversy by collecting bins after Palm Coast ends contract

Waste Pro USA picked up their branded recycling bins from residents

PALM COAST, Fla. – What to do with paper and plastic waste? That’s what Palm Coast residents are asking after thousands of them had their recycling bins taken away.

The city is in an ongoing legal dispute with the company that took those bins off the street: Waste Pro USA.

“I look at what I have, especially paper and plastic, and I’m saying, ‘Where is it all gonna go?’” said resident Joseph Binder.

Binder told News 6 that he is an avid recycler, and he typically puts his recycling bin out every week.

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However, he was left with no choice after his recycling bin was taken by Waste Pro USA — along with the bins of 7,000 other Palm Coast residents.

The city cut ties with Waste Pro after 17 years of service, and June 1 was the start of a contract with the city’s new hauler, FCC Environmental.

When Waste Pro left, they took their recycling bins with them.

“I saw them with a white pickup truck, and in the back was a big trailer, and I just put two and two together,” Binder said.

Palm Coast officials released a statement that reads in part: “We are sympathetic to the fact that the removal of the recycling bins by the outgoing hauler caused a disruption in the smooth transition to the new contractor.”

The City of Palm Coast strives to provide the highest level of service to meet the needs of our exceptional community. Providing the highest level of service requires accountability and transparency in our actions. We are sympathetic to the fact that the removal of the recycling bins by the outgoing hauler caused a disruption in the smooth transition to the new contractor. It is the City’s position that the ownership of the recycling bins belongs to the residents, as stated in the contract. The City is working diligently to acquire and provide replacement recycling bins to all affected residents as soon as possible. We appreciate the patience of the community, and we continue to work towards building a city that stands as an example of exceptional governance, service, and care for its citizens.

Brittany Kershaw, Palm Coast director of communications and marketing

According to the city, the ownership of those recycling bins belongs to the residents per the city’s contract with Waste Pro.

Waste Pro told News 6 that the branded recycling bins were purchased by the company and provided to the residents at no charge to use during the contractual period with the city.

The company added that it believes retrieving its property following the completion of services in the city is legal and appropriate.

Waste Pro even posted advertisements in the local newspaper, offering to sell the bins to the city at a discounted price. Company officials stated that it was perplexing that the city didn’t take any steps to obtain new bins.

Residents whose bins were taken can fill out a request on the city’s customer service portal to get a replacement bin. For more information on how to do so, click here.

In the meantime, city officials said that it could take about three weeks to get those new bins. They added that the city plans to charge Waste Pro $120 for each bin that was picked up.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.