Republic Customers to Get New Trash Cans for Automated System, Rates Set to Increase
HERNANDO – Like it or not, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend a contract with Republic Waste Management Services for another seven years. And with that extension comes a rate hike but it also brings an automated pickup system that will do away with unsightly trash piles lining the roadways.
The vote came during last Tuesday’s BOCC meeting, where Republic Services Representative Seth Weightman presented details of the new service and announced a rate increase. Weightman explains that all Republic customers will receive a new 95-gallon cart that will be picked up by either a single or double occupant automated garbage truck. A single driver truck with an automated lift will service suburban neighborhoods would and a two-man truck will service rural areas. Weightman proposes that after 90 days, customers could request a smaller 65-gallon cart or purchase additional carts.
Republic currently services 59,000 Hernando County residents, at an average rate of about $9.00 per month. When the new system goes into effect sometime next year, customers will see about a $4.00 increase to their monthly bill.Customer service issues seemed to outweigh citizen complaints over the rate increase. Ridge Manor Property Owner Association President, Lynn Gruber-White says residents have been called “liars” and told that “service is optional” by Republic Customer service reps. Gruber-White spoke directly to Commissioner Steve Champion when she said there have been over 250 complaints per month and “You said performance matters.” Champion replied to Gruber-White’s comments, stating, “At 250 complaints – if that’s correct – that’s phenomenal at .003 % of 81,000 customers per month (Total district).”
Another issue Commissioner John Allocco asked Republic to ensure is a new reverse calling system that would notify customers of pickup cancelations. Weightman reassured the Board that a reverse call system would be implemented and customer service would also improve.
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