The Royal Palm Beach Village Council held a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7 with a single item on the agenda — a change to the village’s trash vendor.
After years of working with the village, Republic Services has chosen to divest its presence in several areas of Palm Beach County, including Royal Palm Beach. Waste Pro will take over the existing contract.
Village Manager Ray Liggins explained that the franchise agreement with Republic allows the council to assign the remaining portion of an existing contract to another party if the provider is leaving. Three years of the five-year contract with Republic Services remain, with an option to extend the agreement another five years.
“Republic has been our hauler for 12 years now,” Liggins said. “The second renewal is up to us, and the council votes on that. As long as customer service is there and the job gets done, [renewal] is likely recommended by staff.”
Mayor Fred Pinto clarified that the renewal option is bilateral, with both the village and the provider having the option to renew. Liggins added that he has never actually seen a provider not wish to renew.
“This is a total divestiture for the Palm Beach County location. [Waste Pro] did purchase our trucks. They did purchase our building, and they did hire all of our drivers and the office staff. They also purchased the phone number, so the phone number is not going to change,” said Joanne Stanley, manager of municipal services for Republic. “The transition is going to be very smooth. On Nov. 16, that Saturday pickup will be done by Waste Pro. Republic Services has been honored to serve the businesses and residents here.”
The only change residents should notice will be the changing of cans to the signature Waste Pro green and the trucks will be repainted in the Waste Pro colors.
Waste Pro Division Manager Chris Schulle said that his company is excited about taking over services in Royal Palm Beach.
“We are really excited about purchasing the Republic building and taking on all the employees,” he said. “It’s so hard out there right now in the labor force to bring in drivers and helpers, and to take on the people that Republic has had here doing such a good job, we feel it is going to be a very smooth transition.”
He said that the aesthetic changes will happen gradually over the next six months. The council was pleased by the outcome.
“By [Waste Pro] doing this, they were able to save jobs,” Pinto told the Town-Crier. “There is an option in the contract where [Republic] could have given us a 90-day notice and say they’re shutting down business here. That would have put those people out of work and sent us back to the market. But by this approach, it not only saves the jobs of people who know these neighborhoods, but we have a very good deal with them. Financially, it was a good deal for our citizens, and we get to keep that deal for at least another three years.”
A motion to assign the contract to Waste Pro passed 4-0, with Vice Mayor Jan Rodusky absent.