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Cape Coral City Council to discuss Waste Pro woes at Wednesday meeting

Wednesday’s Cape Coral City Council meeting will seek to address residents’ frustration with Waste Pro and with uncollected garbage filling up the streets. But what can really be done about this problem?

Council members want you to take part in the discussion and voice your concerns in the 2 p.m. meeting. People in Cape Coral say they want Waste Pro to do the job their tax dollars paid for, and they want the city to hold it accountable.

One man took a picture of what happened right after Waste Pro came through; he said they knocked over trash cans and littered the streets without bothering to pick up the mess. Another woman said her trash wasn’t pick up for five weeks. Driving around Cape Coral yesterday, WINK News saw a lot of bulk items sitting out on the curb that people said had been there for days.

“They’re very inconsistent at doing their job,” said Cape Coral resident Edward Skorak. “I think we pay a lot of money through taxes and what have you, to have them do what I would consider to be a fairly simple task of picking up the garbage. They show up at their leisure—you know, you might get it this week and possibly not next week, or skip a couple of weeks. They make a tremendous mess when they pick up the trash, spreading it all over.”

Waste Pro says it doesn’t have enough drivers to keep up with the demand and had to hire an independent contractor to help with the load.

“Those positions have been very difficult to fill in the last three to four months, as government assistance programs have ramped up and you’re seeing unemployment pay go up, you’re seeing stimulus checks come out more frequently,” said Bill Jones, Waste Pro division manager. “Here in Southwest Florida, I think it’s maybe a little worse than it might be in the rest of the country, primarily because our economy here is more tourism and service-based.”

The city knows people are not happy with Waste Pro’s services, so at today’s meeting the City Council will be discussing fining the company up to $250 for every incident. Cape Coral is able to cancel the contract if Waste Pro is not holding up its side of the deal, but the city says that is unlikely, because it lacks the staff to handle the trash pickup in the meantime.

You can submit your eComments for Wednesday’s meeting at this link.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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