Trash collectors facing fines from Orange County

- After receiving thousands of complaints about garbage pickup in Orange County, the Solid Waste Division is cracking down on companies hired to do the job.  "It irritates me a lot," said East Orange County resident Mitch Prever, adding that he's sick of seeing trash on the ground after garbage pickup.

Prever says a new automated system for trash pick up isn't working. "The arms pick it up, but then all the trash falls to the ground. They tell us to turn the wheels towards the curb so on and so forth but still there's trash that falls out."

Solid Waste manager Jim Becker explains, "We're still in the transitional period to get things going the right way."  He says the county issued fines to the three private companies hired to haul off garbage.  

A total of $26,000 in fines were given out.   We tried contacting all three companies: Advanced Disposal, Waste Pro and FCC.  

Waste Pro released this statement which read, "Orange County changed the waste collection service, including days of service, type of trucks and most significantly, the service routes. We are working with the county to review our GPS records, which we believe will eliminate these charges."

Advanced disposal says the change from manual to automated service has been an adjustment for both workers and residents.  They say they need help from homeowners to sort garbage properly.

Becker says the companies have the right to appeal the fines, which would deducted from the money that the county pays for service. "People are learning their routes, there's equipment issues, personnel issues, collection issues, traffic issues," he says.

Supervisors say the problems started at the beginning of the year, when they went from garbage pickup twice a week to once a week. "First three weeks my trash wasn't picked up and it accumulated quite a bit, we had to haul it off ourselves. So I'm not happy with it," says Prever.

According to the county, in January, Solid Waste received more than 74,307 complaints, compared to 27,076 in February.   

Prever hopes garbage collectors start "picking up" their initiative to get the job done correctly. "Somebody has to do something because I'm getting tired of paying for it. You get what you pay for and we're paying a lot for that and we're not getting in return."

If you are a resident of Orange County who is having problems with garbage pickup, make sure to report it to the Solid Waste Division hotline at 407-836-6601.

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