By Tamas Mondovics
What has not come as a surprise to many following a recent meeting is that the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners awarded new Solid Waste Franchise Collection Agreements to the original three companies; Republic Services of Florida, Waste Management Inc. of Florida, and Waste Services of Florida.
The new $60 million agreement comes in the wake of what the Board called “good stewardship” with a 7-0 vote during its solid waste workshop and at the end of 2011, when the BOCC made a way for opening its current 17-year-long garbage hauling contracts to open bids, claiming that such a process will allow the best rates and the best deals for county residents and taxpayers.
Prior to awarding the same three companies who will once again have the exclusives rights to provide residential and commercial solid waste collection within the unincorporated areas of the county, the BOCC voted unanimously to select a new 2-1-1 “automated” service option as the way residential garbage and recyclables are collected.
The modification is the “automation” of the process meaning that beginning in October 2013, residents will be bringing garbage and recyclables to the curb in standardized wheeled carts or cans provided by the county for emptying by specially-equipped trucks.
Valrico area residents will be served by Waste Management Inc. of Florida. County officials said that the decision is projected to save the County more than $7.5 million annually, estimated to be $52,790,108 over the new seven-year contract, a 22 percent reduction.
According to county spokesperson, Michelle Van Dyke, the county’s attention has now turned to commercial solid waste customers in Hillsborough County who will be able to begin negotiating with the awarded trio of county-authorized companies for garbage collection service that will start after September 30, 2013.
Van Dyke emphasized that all existing commercial garbage collection service contracts, regardless of the expiration date, will become null and void when the current Solid Waste Franchise Collection Agreements expire at the end of September.
“This is a good time for our commercial customers to “shop around” among the three franchise collectors to determine the most competitive rates and agreements that best meets their needs,” she said.
The newly approved franchise collection agreements do not apply to contracts for commercial recycling, which means that businesses may contract for commercial recycling service with any provider, even if they are not one of the three authorized franchise collectors.
The same is true for construction and demolition debris removal. Effective October 1, 2013, commercial customers may contract with any provider, even if they are not one of the three Franchise Collectors.
Van Dyke wanted business owners to make note of one more important date. While commercial customers now have the opportunity to shop around between the three companies for their
solid waste collection, agreements can only be signed after June 1, 2013.
All commercial garbage customers will be required to complete a Hillsborough County Solid Waste Profile Form – even if a form is now on file – before collection services can begin under new contracts. Additional details about the form will be available soon.
Regarding the sizes of the cans, Van Dyke said that the cost of the individual carts will be folded into the annual cost, and that the sizes of the cans are still to be decided, which will alter the total number.
“This is a process we are still working on and will work with residents who have special needs,” Van Dyke promised. “We do not have the answers to all the questions just yet, but will make every effort to meet our residents’ needs.”
While residential customers will be served by one of the three companies according to their district locale, commercial customers may shop by contacting the three Franchised Collectors at:
Republic Services of Florida: 265-0292
Waste Management Inc. of Florida: 621-3053
Waste Services of Florida: 248-3802
For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/talktrash and click on the Commercial Collection link or call Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department Customer Service at 272-5680.