Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Republic Services will offer automated garbage pickup in Hernando County — but it's not mandatory

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County commissioners have given the county's new garbage hauler permission to begin developing automated pickup routes.

In recent months, representatives of Republic Services have been talking up the benefits of automated service within compact communities around the county.

With the service, each customer is provided a rolling garbage bin in a choice of sizes. Once filled, the bin is left at the curb on scheduled pickup days. A truck specially equipped with a robotic arm lift then dumps each bin into the back of the truck without the driver having to get out.

When voters were asked two years ago about countywide mandatory automated garbage collection, they rejected the idea. But when the garbage franchise bid proposal was sent out last year, pilot programs for the system were allowed.

During Tuesday's County Commission meeting, commission Chairman Wayne Dukes said he still wanted to be sure that the county staff brings to the commission each area as it seeks the automated service. He said he didn't want any surprises.

Russell Wetherington, the county's chief procurement officer, assured the commissioners he would bring them information as different areas of the county stepped forward seeking the service.

Commissioner Jim Adkins said he wanted to know what would define an area. Commissioner Dave Russell said the focus has been on communities that have homeowners associations. The associations could approve the automated system, but residents who don't want the service wouldn't have to use it, Russell said.

Commissioners said they wanted to be sure that was true; Wetherington said it was. Those who are in a community or area that approves the service can either use it or put their regular trash cans or bags at the curb, he said.

Commissioner John Druzbick asked whether the county was changing the scope of its contract with Republic and why, if the automated service is more efficient, the savings wouldn't be passed back to customers.

Russell said he could see value in the automated service. He noted that Republic would give customers the rolling garbage bins and that they could choose a size.

He said he looked forward to seeing the reaction from areas that implement the service.

Dukes said he knows there are still some concerns about the automated program in some spots around the county.

"Change comes hard,'' Dukes said.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

In other County Commission business

The Hernando County Commission on Tuesday:

• Agreed to pay a lump sum of $1.3 million to the state to settle disputed Medicaid bills. The commission decided to take the total from reserves and will receive a 15 percent discount for deciding not to further challenge the state. Originally, county officials were told that Hernando owed $4.2 million.

• In an effort to bring Spring Hill Fire Rescue more in line with Hernando County Fire Rescue, the commission approved employee contract changes that will save the county approximately $95,000. The changes include a reduction in the benefits package, a reduction in pay for beginning firefighters and an agreement to not use part-time firefighters.

• Approved changes in the county's fireworks ordinance that will allow county staffers to okay permits for both fireworks displays and sales. Previously, the commission approved permits.

• Unanimously agreed to a two-year contract with McDonald Transit Associates for continuation of THE Bus and the county's Americans With Disabilities transit services. The county's share will be $202,496 annually, paid out of its transportation trust fund.

• Left in place the county's once-a-week watering restrictions, despite the recent loosening of restrictions by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The county's water conservation coordinator, Alys Brockway, urged commissioners to keep the once-a-week watering restriction in Hernando.

• Voted to support the State Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund for an unnamed manufacturing company that is considering construction of a $15 million, 225,000-square-foot facility at the Hernando County Airport. The county's business development manager, Michael McHugh, told commissioners he may reveal more details soon.

Republic Services will offer automated garbage pickup in Hernando County — but it's not mandatory 08/28/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 4:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the fatal stabbing of two good Samaritans trying to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Ore., light rail train.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …