- Indian River County, FL transitioned to larger carts when it moved to single-stream recycling in October with Waste Management — the sole waste hauler for unincorporated Indian River and Fellsmere — asking residents to try them for three months before asking for replacements.
- 70% of the requests to exchange carts have not been met weeks after the launch of the exchange program. The problem has been compounded by a significant increase in number of requests for services — 123 customers signed up this past week alone.
- Residents are allotted one free exchange for each recycling and garbage cart and pay $30 per cart beyond that allowance. Deliveries are being made in the order of the routes, as reported in TCPalm.
In Indian River County, a shaky waste service transition began before this current bump in the road, which was also tied to cart delivery and service launch. As a result, Waste Management gave customers credits for garbage pickup services, and the county got credit for recycling charges.
Now the company faces another glitch as it fine-tunes its program; 1,851 requested recycling exchanges and 2,638 garbage exchanges have not been made, with about 1,969 taken care of so far, said Waste Management spokeswoman Amy Boyson.
Meanwhile, the company has had about 450 new requests for service since Jan. 1 — requests that take precedence as previously established customers await their new carts.
"It's not just a quiet week where you are going out swapping carts," said Himanshu Mehta, Director of the Indian River County Solid Waste Disposal District. "We suddenly have all these new (customer) starts."
Waterway Village resident Leila Peppers said she was told it could be March before the cart she requested a month ago is delivered. Waste Management has instructed residents to leave their carts for pick up until 7 p.m. on collection days, though this violates homeowner association rules.
"We don't want to get in trouble. But at the same time, we don't want to miss the swapped containers," Peppers said. "I leave the empty can out there until about 8 o'clock. I'll keep doing it until they (swap) it," said Waterway Village resident Neil Murphy.