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New city-bought garbage truck aims to help missed pickups in Cape Coral

Cape Coral garbage truck
Posted at 5:00 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 05:39:22-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A new garbage truck purchased by the City of Cape Coral is hitting the streets to help residents with missed trash pickups, plus aid in cleaning up city job sites.

Families in Cape Coral say the topic of trash collection can change, depending on who you ask.

“I think the trash pick-up is great,” said Paul Murray.

“Sometimes they forget this side of the street or that whole side of the street,” said Matt Neff.

Neff said "they" meaning Waste Pro, the city’s contractor who, according to city leaders has racked up over $1 million dollars in fines because of missed pick-ups.

On Monday, the City of Cape Coral was taking on the problems with pickups by purchasing its own garbage truck.

Terry Schweitzer, Manager for Solid Waste in Cape Coral says the new truck will be used in several different ways.

“ Basically, city projects, and if the need arises where we have to go out and support the solid waste collection in the event of a missed pick up,” said Schweitzer.

The new truck comes with a price tag of $158,900 and was paid for out of the city’s solid waste fund.

Schweitzer says a city employee will operate the truck.

“An operator from the city will drive it, it is what we call a non-CDL truck so they don't have to have a commercial driver's license for it,” said Schweitzer.

It's an opportunity I spoke with neighbor Paul Murray about on Monday while he moved some of his bulk items to the curb for pick-up.

Murray told me, the new truck should take some of the pressure off Waste Pro.

“ I know they have been getting a lot of flack over the last year or two…let these flackers try someplace else to live if they think it’s so bad,” said Murray.

While others like Matt Neff remain hesitant about the city's new addition.

“A city this size, just one extra garbage truck I don't think it’s gonna put a dent in the opportunity that they're having,” said Neff.

As for daily operations, Schweitzer said it will not play the same role as Waste Pro.

“At this point, it is not planned to play a role in the daily pick-up,” said Schweitzer.

Schweitzer said he hopes the new truck will be available to hit the streets by next week and encourages any residents who have missed pickups to contact the city for assistance.