Osceola County residents will see an increase on their monthly trash bills as a new waste collector takes over weekly pick-up for about 70,000 households later this year.
Waste Management has provided curbside service in unincorporated Osceola County for 20 years. But that’s about to change Oct. 1 as a new provider called Advanced Disposal Services takes over.
The transition will include some new trash bins – about 140,000 of them – delivered to residents, along with a rate increase of $7 per month on current bills, or $84 more a year.
Higher costs will likely come with new disposal days, too. Details on route changes are expected later this summer.
What led up to this?
In 2016, the county’s contract with Waste Management was coming to an end. But exiting agreements like this can take up to 16 months, said Osceola County Director Danielle Slaterpryce at a Monday meeting.
Hurricane Irma in 2017 delayed things even longer, and the county ultimately signed a one-year extension contract that continued Waste Management services until 2018.
Bids from two different waste collectors came in after that – Advanced Disposal and Waste Pro. The county went with the lower bid.
Osceola County signed a seven-year contract with Advanced Disposal valued at $19.74 million a year. There’s also a potential renewal period of three years.
New bins and other changes on the way.
As part of the transition, residents have until June 21 to choose one of three different size garbage and recycling bins that Advanced Disposal will pick up weekly with an automated side-arm loader truck. Bins will have 35-, 65- or 96-gallon capacities.
“We understand there are folks who have a greater need for garbage to pick up, and there are folks who have more limited areas to put garbage cans in,” Slaterpryce told County Commissioners.
Residents will need to select a trash bin size soon from a mailer sent out recently, or they will automatically receive the 96-gallon size. If they’re unhappy with the selection, residents can return them anytime between Oct. 1 and April 1 free of charge, Slaterpryce said.
Residents will also have the option of requesting additional carts at a one-time charge per cart.
Residents are being asked to put their old trash cans from Waste Management out by the curb during the last service day of September. There will be additional pick-up opportunities in October if residents are unable to do this.
The new carts will be delivered between late August and early September. People will be notified right before their specific delivery day, Slaterpryce said.
Residents shouldn’t begin using the new bins until Oct. 1 when Advanced Disposal takes over.
A $4.9 billion merger between Advance Disposal and Waste Management
On April 15, Houston-based Waste Management announced plans to buy Ponte Vedra, Fla.-based Advanced Disposal for $4.9 billion.
If approved, the acquisition is set to go down as one of the industry’s largest acquisitions in recent history, according to an industry blog called Waste Dive.
The merger is expected to create $100 million in additional annual profits for Waste Management, according to a company press release.
The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close by the first quarter of 2020, subject to closing conditions, according to the release.
Because Osceola’s current trash pick-up provider will soon own the county’s future trash pick-up provider, Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr. asked Monday if customers who already have 96-gallon trash cans can keep them and help save local government some money.
Slaterpryce said Advanced Disposal indicated the county must switch to their new bins, despite the upcoming merger.
But Hawkins, who made a career in the solid waste industry, insisted staff attempt to work something out.
“I really think we ought to try and save this money,” Hawkins said. “I’ve been on the other side of that. Don’t let them tell you no.”
After the meeting, county officials didn’t comment on how much the new trash bins are costing them. But staff said in an email that the purchase cost was taken into consideration when determining the new monthly fees for residents.
For more information
The county plans on having continuous communication with residents as the transition takes place, including information on its website and a hotline people can call with questions.
Commissioner Peggy Choudhry also said she plans to host a town hall meeting for District One residents at 6:30 p.m. June 26 at the Magnuson Hotel at 4694 W. U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee, where people can come and ask questions.