JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A waste hauler whose contract is on the chopping block is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the city of Jacksonville, the News4Jax I-TEAM has learned.
That's according to public records, which show the city has been tracking violations and fining Republic Services of Florida for almost one year. Records show the company has spilled hydraulic fluid in dozens of neighborhoods, missed trash pickups and left a trail in property damage in its wake.
The company has been fined more than $200,000 for 2,800-plus non-compliance issues, according to city documents. At least $74,000 of those fines were imposed because the city found the vendor did not address customer service complaints by close of business the following day.
Last month, the city put Republic Services on notice with a letter giving the company 30 days to get its act together and come up with a plan before its waste collection contract is terminated.
Company representatives declined to be interviewed for this story Tuesday. Instead, they told News4Jax that they take the city's concerns very seriously and will "respond accordingly."
While those in charge of Republic Services don't have much to say about its track record, the same cannot be said of the residents the company was hired to serve.
Harold Harbeson is so fed up with his service, he's called the city's hotline and even contacted the Mayor's Office for help. He said in one case, the waste company closed out his complaint with the city without collecting his trash.
"By the time Saturday rolled around, they said the trash company had already picked it (my trash) up. I was standing in the front yard looking straight at all that stuff," Harbeson told News4Jax. "And my reply was, ‘I am standing here looking at it.'"