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Port St. Lucie Files Motion Seeking Contempt Judgement Against Waste Pro

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Photo courtesy stlucieco.gov
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The City is calling on residents to assist with their lawsuit by providing evidence of the lack of service by emailing photos to: WasteProLawsuit@CityofPSL.com and by reporting service disruptions by calling 1PSL at: 772-871-1775.

Port St. Lucie - Wednesday June 22, 2022: The City of Port St. Lucie Wednesday filed a motion seeking to hold Waste Pro in contempt for disobeying the Court’s Order to fulfill the terms of its contract.

In a news release the City said they took the action because of Waste Pro's "continuing service failures".

On May 26, a Circuit Court Judge issued an Order prohibiting Waste Pro from removing its equipment from the City. The Judge also ordered Waste Pro to use its best efforts to substantially comply with the contract it signed with the City, until the City’s new waste hauler arrives in September. The City even agreed to suspend recycling collection at Waste Pro’s request to make it easier for the company to catch up on past due collections.

However the City maintains that since that time, garbage collection has continued to decline, all while Waste Pro claims to be back on schedule.

Port St. Lucie's Contempt Motion states:

• The City agreed to suspend collection of recyclables to free up Waste Pro’s recycling drivers and their trucks to assist efforts to collect garbage. However, within a month, Waste Pro has reassigned drivers from City routes to collection routes for St. Lucie County. Thus, the additional workforce from the City agreement to temporarily suspend recycling went to support the County’s garbage collection and not the City.

• Although the City agreed to suspend the recycling routes, the City never agreed to reducing garbage collection to one time per week from two times per week. However, Waste Pro is communicating to the residents of the City that it is only collecting garbage one time per week.

• Waste Pro is not even picking up garbage one time per week in many parts of the City.

• Prior to June 14, 2022, Waste Pro provided daily emails to the City notifying of routes that were missed in whole or part. Since these emails were used in prior proceedings to show Waste Pro’s daily missed routes, Waste Pro is no longer providing these emails which is requiring the City to use City staff members to go out and visibly inspect the routes.

• The City has videotaped numerous incidents in which Waste Pro’s drivers are driving the routes, but only picking up some, not all, of the garbage on the routes.

The City has made several attempts to coordinate collection efforts with Waste Pro, but Waste Pro’s Regional Vice President has severed communications with the City. This has limited the City’s ability to provide the necessary updates to its residents.

Under the current contract, it takes a minimum of 30 garbage trucks a day to properly service the City. City staff observed that Waste Pro sent 19 trucks Monday, June 20, and only 12 trucks Tuesday, June 21, to Port St. Lucie to collect garbage.

To see a copy of the Motion for Contempt, click here.

Because of the deterioration of collection services the City has:

• Enacted emergency measures to supplement service by deploying two (2) leased rear-loader garbage trucks and staff to address crisis pickups and anticipate leasing additional garbage trucks in the immediate future.

• Contracted with two (2) yard waste haulers and established a voluntary drop-off site.

• Ended its contract with Waste Pro and has engaged a new hauler (FCC Environmental Services) which will begin in early September. This modern company has a reliable track record, and its new technology should result in dramatically improved service.

• Vigilantly pursued a lawsuit, on behalf of its residents, against Waste Pro, seeking monetary damages for the hardship faced by the residents and business owners of the City.

The City is calling on residents to assist with their lawsuit by providing evidence of the lack of service by emailing photos to: WasteProLawsuit@CityofPSL.com and by reporting service disruptions by calling 1PSL at: 772-871-1775. Use the 1PSL website or submit your concern via the 1PSL mobile app.