Some neighbors fed up with inconsistent Waste Pro service; Cape Coral looks to reach solution

Published: March 26, 2021 9:38 PM EDT
Updated: March 30, 2021 6:53 PM EDT

Neighbors are fed up with trash piling up in front of their homes. They want it picked up as soon as possible, but say they have been waiting weeks.

Cape Coral City Council says trash pickup by Waste Pro has been inconsistent for community members in the city. Waste Pro says it all comes down to a driver shortage.

Meanwhile, worry about animals going through trash bags in front of yards leaves a bigger mess behind for future cleanup.

People we spoke to want the city to find a solution to this problem or find a new company to pick up the trash.

“To not get a service that I pay for, family pays for … It’s aggravating,” Robert Roach said.

“At least four weeks,” Brian Freeman said. “My wife walks by it every day. There’s two or three mattresses stacked up there.”

Neighbors says it’s been weeks since Waste Pro picked up his trash. Others in Cape Coral say they’ve also experienced inconsistent pickup times.

“At one time, you put your trash out one evening, everything was picked up the next day,” Freeman said “Now, it’s become a game. We literally have to guess when our trash or recyclables will be picked up.”

Council members heard these concerns and addressed them during their meeting Friday. Council and the city are considering the idea of fining Waste Pro if the problems aren’t fixed. They also want to sit down with Waste Pro in April to hear how the company plans to improve its service.

“I don’t want lip service from our city council,” Freeman said. “We’ve had that already. It’s time for action. Either fix the problem, or get a new provider for trash pickup.”

Waste Pro told us the demand for qualified drivers is very high, and there is currently a nationwide shortage. Waste Pro says it’s actively training, and the company is boosting its recruiting efforts.

“In the meantime, like I said, the animals are going to come out here and pick up all this trash,” Roach said.

The city sent a letter to Waste Pro one month ago highlighting these concerns. Cape Coral hopes to meet with Waste Pro April 7. The mayor says, if they can’t, they will look at other options.

“There’s been a population explosion, but I don’t think it’s to a point that it’s jeopardizing this service,” Freeman said.