Despite a sparse turnout at the Loxahatchee Groves public input meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, a number of people commented on issues with the town’s new containerized garbage pickup service.
Linda Isaacs of Marcella Blvd. said she has neighbors who are handicapped and not able to move the cans to the road, and that in the past, she had just left a bag of garbage on the road. She also has a doctor’s note saying that she is incapable of moving the container to the street.
Town Manager Bill Underwood said he can work with contractor Waste Pro to help anyone who is incapable of hauling the cans to the road.
“I think we can make some accommodations,” Underwood said, adding that Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia has had accommodations made in the past.
Maniglia said that she has issues hauling the trash can to the road but has a friend who might be able to attach a grabber to a golf cart to move the container. She added that she has seen enclosures where the cans can be left at the road.
“This way, the cans can stay at the road, and people can bring their bags to the can,” she said.
Mayor Dave Browning said the only issue with that might be with the collector being able to get the can out of the enclosure for dumping, explaining that one of the reasons that the town went to containerized pickup was to relieve the amount of garbage debris that blows into canals, especially after pets and wildlife break into the bags.
Resident Mark Jackson said he lives on a large lot where he has to haul the can a quarter-mile to a half-mile to the road.
“I’m a big man, and I have a hard time picking that garbage can up empty. I don’t know what I’m going to do, because I can’t get it up into the back of my truck when it’s full.”
Resident Robert Shorr said that some of the garbage cans, which were purchased second-hand from another municipality, are damaged.
“I don’t understand how they could ever leave the yard and go to somebody’s house,” Shorr said.
Browning said the contractor that delivered them is responsible for the cans and will make good on damaged ones.
Vice Mayor Todd McLendon added that the council had discussed purchasing 45-gallon cans for those people who could not manage or did not need the 95-gallon cans.
Underwood said that Councilman Dave DeMarois had commented at a meeting that some people may need a second can, but no motion was made.
DeMarois said that some large households need more than one can.
“It looks like we’re working for the waste company on limiting what they have to pick up rather than what our people actually derive as far as garbage,” DeMarois said, adding that he has a problem getting all his garbage in one can and would like to purchase another can.
“Come Christmas, that can is not big enough,” he said. “I think a lot of people have the same problem.”
McLendon said people have called him saying that the can is not big enough, but some of them have small businesses at their residences that increase the amount of garbage.
Browning also pointed out that people do not recycle some material that should be recycled.
DeMarois said he did not like rewarding the trash collector by limiting the amount of garbage they pick up, but McLendon pointed out that Waste Pro had come down $50,000 for pickup in return for the town initiating containerized service.
DeMarois said there have been 25 complaints about the cans, and Underwood said that town staff is addressing all the complaints.
Resident Katie Blakeman filled out a comment card asking to add herself to the list of residents who have not yet received a new garbage can.
Maniglia said that she has not received hers yet either.
“They’re still getting them out,” Browning said.
DeMarois stressed that Waste Pro is still picking up garbage, whether residents have the new cans or not. Maniglia added that Waste Pro had left several cans in common locations for customers to pick up, which resulted in some confusion.
Underwood said that some residents had taken more than one can, resulting in some residents not receiving a can.
“We’re going to have to work through those nuances with the individuals as we run into them,” he said.