Commissioners hear of garbage pickup issues

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, June 16, 2021

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County residents have recently taken to social media to complain of garbage pickup issues, while others opted to meet with County Commissioners in person to discuss their personal accounts with Seminole Sanitation.

Resident Hugh Kent shared his experience, citing multiple times the company has been late as his main issue.

“The main problem is they never come on their scheduled day,” Kent said. “However, we are strapped because no one else handles this area.”

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Kent acknowledges there is a county landfill, but it is located on the other end of the county and he is often unable to make the drive, due to long hours working in his civilian duty.

“We live on Mills Road, where there is approximately 50 residents,” he said. “We put ours out on the scheduled day, along with everyone else, but it may three days before it is gotten to.”

Kent went on to describe days where he would wheel his garbage can up to the house again, after waiting a series of days and the company would then pick up the can in the wee hours of the morning without warning anyone.

“Even if they aren’t on time, if you don’t put your can out the night before; it will be missed,” he said.

Kent said additional issues include the lack of communication between the company and their customers.

Kent said bi-annually Seminole Sanitation sends out a 3×5 card, reminding customers to renew their subscription to the garbage pickup service. It is usually taped to the garbage can and is sometimes mistaken for trash. However, Kent said that Seminole Sanitation does not consider the longevity of the customer and that it may have been a mistake; they will not pick up garbage any longer unless it has been renewed.

“They offer no grace period,” he said. “But, they know it’s exclusively our only choice.”

Because of the miscommunication, Kent said they now pay up to a month in advance, so they can be assured their garbage will not be missed. The same issue has occurred if customers are paying up to the dollar amount, but not including the change.

“You have to make sure no cents are missed or they will not pick up your trash,” Kent said.

Kent said they have tried to get ahead of every issue they are faced with, but each time another issue keeps popping up.

“It is a repetitive nature of poor service,” Kent said. “I understand people make mistakes, but I wish they would institute some protocols.”

Commissioner Pete Stephens acknowledged Kent’s issue and met with other residents.

“I feel everybody’s pain,” he said. “Other counties are facing the same issues; these labor shortage issues are very real.”

Stephens does suggest using the county landfill in instances when Seminole Sanitation is not picking up. He said the landfill is open five days a week and every other Saturday, but it does cost money to take items there.

“I know it’s a problem that has to be addressed,” Stephens said. “If someone can come in and do a good job, then it’s an open market.”

Stephens’ one stipulation is that the county is not tied into a binding contract that will mandate pickup.

Currently, Stephens said he has spoken to two companies that have shown interest in taking over the county’s market and he will update residents in the near future.