Trash company with history of complaints asks city for second chance

Republic Services asked the city in the letter to reconsider its plan to void contract

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A trash company responsible for thousands of complaints of missed trash collection is asking the City of Jacksonville to reconsider its plan to void the waste haulers contract.

In October, the city sent Republic Services of Florida a letter saying the company was failing to comply with the standards of service laid out in their contract.

Since October, the company has failed to notify the city of spills or clean them up quickly, address complaints in a timely manner and failed to collect garbage recycling, bulk and yard waste on time, according to the letter.

Republic Services wrote the letter mischaracterizes the ongoing issues and asked the city to reconsider.

The letter was sent two weeks after an I-TEAM investigation found Republic Services and Waste Pro, another trash hauler, each missed more than 7,000 pickups this year.

City records show both vendors have been fined. Republic Services was fined $220,000 for non-compliance issues.

The City wrote despite “constant attention” from the public works department it continued to see significant missed collections reports from the Arlington area where Republic Services operates, according to an Oct. 4 situation report.

The News4Jax I-TEAM has interviewed multiple people who say they are routinely missed by Republic Services waste collectors, including Arlington mother Karli Hester.

“I have been out here about three years and we have had a lot of major issues with yard debris and stuff like that not being picked up. Sometimes it sits out her for a couple of weeks,” said Hester.

In a Nov. 22 letter to the City’s Solid Waste Division, the area director of operations said the company already discussed and resolved many of the concerns outlined in the Oct. 24 letter from the city.

The Republic Services area director blames their failure to address customer service complaints by close of business on “a lack of public awareness” of city trash rules and says recent mechanical issues have “exacerbated the collection challenges.”

He wrote as a part of their action plan, Republic has already replaced older vehicles with six new collection vehicles.

“Together, we believe that we have satisfactorily resolved this concern,” Area Director of Operations Bryant Thornton wrote.

The company also addressed the thousands of dollars in damage to garbage cans across the city of Jacksonville. The area director blames the issue on a vendor that manufactured faulty carts, resulting in 55,000 carts needing repair or replacement.

Republic Services asked the city in the letter to reconsider saying “allow the improvements underway to realize their full potential.”

The City of Jacksonville told News4Jax Tuesday the city’s review process of Republic Services response is not complete yet.

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