Cape Coral votes to begin fining Waste Pro for garbage that’s not picked up

Cape Coral neighbors have begun to see improvements along streets where trash has been left by Waste Pro for weeks, but the job is not yet complete.

Due to continued complaints from neighbors about garbage left in front of homes, Cape Coral City Council voted to fine Waste Pro $250 each day trash is scheduled to be picked up at a home but is not.

On the last week of March, there were over 800 complaints about trash in the city. In April, the city has received nearly 1,400 complaints.

Neighbors say the headaches have continued for weeks with missed trash pickups, and they hope this financial pressure helps sort out all of the problems.

Waste Pro recently released its action plan for how it will get caught up picking up trash in Cape Coral.

“Band-Aid on an artery, that’s what it is,” John Telisky said.

Complaints about missed pickups are starting to decline, but in the last four weeks, the city has still received more than 2,000 complaints after trash not being picked up.

“I believe what the city council is doing is absolutely correct,” Telisky said. “I don’t believe there should be any more chances to fix the problem.”

The council approved a measure that will withhold $250 in payments made to Waste Pro for every complaint that’s logged through the city’s 311 call center.

“I can understand they may have trouble with getting new drivers and everything, but that seems like a pretty stiff financial penalty,” Mike Bennett said.

Every 30 days that passes without considerable improvements, the fines will increase $250 for each reported incident.

“I hope it doesn’t make it worse,” Bennett said. “I hope it makes it better.”

Mayor John Gunter is encouraging people to report issues with missed trash pickups to the 311 call center. He says the city will not be able to withhold money from Waste Pro if the issues are not reported to them.

Whether the city chooses to release the funds to Waste Pro will depend on the progress they see, another decision the city council would need to vote on and approve.

“It’s a heck of an incentive of their part to get it right,” Bennett said.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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