Hillsborough County Solid Waste Management officials asked customers to talk trash, sharing how much and how often they use residential trash and recycling programs.

Gibsonton residents Robert and Jewel Splain could not wait to voice their opinion to Hillsborough County Solid Waste Management officials about how they use the current garbage, recycling and yard waste services.

The couple, who usually offer their home to down-and-out families needing assistance, said they have a family of six living with them right now and they create a lot of trash.

“Our trash bin is completely full on the first trash day and at least half full on the second,” said Robert, who worked for Waste Management for 15 years as a mechanic.

His recycling is also full every week. He also has yard waste in his yard right no, waiting for collection.

This is exactly the kind of information that government officials are looking for, said Damien Tramel, the solid waste manager with Hillsborough County Solid Waste Management.

The agency is seeking feedback from its approximately 290,000 residential customers in unincorporated Hillsborough County and New Tampa on potential future service changes under evaluation, including garbage collection frequency and curbside bulk item collections.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of our community residents and their opinions matter to us,” said Tramel.

Information collected from customers will be used while evaluating private solid waste collection contracts, which are scheduled to be rebid in late 2019. The agency’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. New contracts will be signed by the end of this year and new services will start on September 30, 2020.

Customers who completed the survey have shared how full their trash and recycling cans are each week, how frequently they use the once-weekly yard waste collection service, whether a once-weekly garbage collection would work if there was a cost savings to be gained or if another garbage can would be provided and if the opportunity to dispose of larger bulk items, like sofas, mattresses and refrigerators, during curbside pickup would be a valuable addition to existing services.

Robert shared his opinion that once a week trash collection would not be enough for his household, but it might work if he received another garbage can. He hopes for more consistent service on his street; sometimes the trash trucks do not pick up on his street.

“I just want decent service for what I’m paying for,” said Robert.

For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org or call 272-5680.

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.