UPDATE: Trash haulers in Orange County, FL could face up to $5,000 per day in fines for failing to complete their routes, according to Click Orlando.
Originally, the issues were a result of a switch to automated trash pickup, and officials blamed a learning curve for the number of missed trash collections from Orange County haulers. However, the complaints have continued to come in — Click Orlando reported that operators fielded roughly 4,500 calls in January and 2,500 in February.
- Orange County, FL has switched to automated trash collections with many reports of missed trash pickups, and a report of damage done by the trash truck arms to a car and other property, which was recorded on video.
- While crews worked through the weekend to pick up trash, county officials are dealing with damage, stating that the contractor will be financially responsible. The county also said the problems are the result of trial and error that take place through learning curves for both haulers and residents.
- County officials have asked homeowners to be patient as the glitches are worked out and remind them to be sure trash bins are at least three feet from other objects.
Automated collections is a system that is still being widely integrated into the industry. Places like Baltimore City have invested millions in trash cans that, along with other features, are designed for automation. Progressive Waste Solutions and Advanced Disposal are also investing in them for their fleets and are among solid waste management professionals who believe automated collections will expand in 2016, stating they have the potential to prevent worker injury. Though it seems based on the Orange County scenario that it could take time and effort to get a seamless operation going.
Through this rough roll out, the county fielded 25,000 calls in one week. But Jim Becker, manager of the county's solid waste division, said haulers picked up 90% of resident's trash on schedule. He also says delays are related to the fact that some people are not following the new protocol, for instance not properly placing the bins.
However, Becker says crews are working overtime to ensure all trash is picked up.
"Our haulers are out, they will be picking everything up ... Be confident and patient if you can."