The Santa Rosa County Commission will host three meetings for residents wishing to learn more about the proposed franchising of residential solid waste curbside services in areas north of I-10. A franchise agreement would mean that only one hauler would be able to provide residential curbside service in a specified area and would not impact business or commercial accounts. The meetings will give residents the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of franchising residential solid waste services and offer input on what areas and services should be included in the request for proposal issued by the county. Meetings are scheduled for:
- Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Pace Community Center, located in the Santa Rosa Sports Plex (PARA ball fields), 5976 Chumuckla Hwy. in Pace
- Monday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the East Milton Gymnasium located at 8604 Bobby Brown Rd. in East Milton
- Monday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Jay Community Center located at 5259 Booker St. in Jay
By offering a franchise to one household solid waste provider, residents will gain more services, have greater accountability from the provider, and experience less traffic and damage to their residential roads from multiple garbage trucks, all at rates less than what residents currently pay in the non-franchise system. The residential curbside service would not be mandatory, but individuals who do not signup for service with the hauler assigned to their area will be responsible for transporting their household waste, recyclables, yard debris and bulk waste items to the Central Landfill in Milton or the Jay Transfer Station in Jay.
In November 2010, the county began the process of consolidating residential waste collection services for the north end of the county by giving notice to the solid waste collection providers that the commission would explore establishing a franchise in 2014. The next step of the process after the February public input meetings will be the issuing of a request for proposal, asking services providers to submit what they would charge for a defined set of services for a specific area of the county, followed by interviews of the top ranked companies who submitted proposals.
In 2010, the commission franchised residential curbside collection in generally the 32563 and 32566 zip codes with two service providers. The franchise agreement gave residents:
- Garbage pickup twice per week.
- Once a week recycling pickup in a wheeled cart.
- Yard waste pickup every other week and bulk waste pickup on demand.
- Residents can also request side door collection service for the non-handicapped, additional barrels or bear resistant barrels at an additional cost.
Quarterly service charges were initially $51.45 with Waste Pro and $53.40 with Waste Management in 2010. Both contracts limit annual rate increases based on increases to the consumer price index, and cap rate increases to a maximum of four percent per year. Residents in that area now pay only $54.31with Waste Pro or $56.38 with Waste Management.
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