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Waste Pro sues Cape Coral for breach of contract

Company argues fines assessed by city 'grossly disproportionate'
Posted at 2:17 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 08:50:08-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Waste Pro, the City of Cape Coral's contractor for garbage and recycling management, has filed suit against the city for more than $30,000.

The company cites a breach of contract amid an ongoing disagreement with the city spanning more than a year. In legal documents filed last week with the 20th Judicial Circuit Court, fines assessed by Cape Coral during a slowdown of trash pickup service in 2021 "exceed any damages that would or might have been incurred by the City related to any performance issues."

Many residents complained of missed or severely delayed pickups, resulting in some streets lined with garbage and bulk items for days on end.

The city began assessing fines against the company based on missed pickups reported by residents. March 2021's fines alone exceeded $200,000. By May 2021, fines had eclipsed $1.1 million.

According to the legal brief, the fines ranged based on the type of incident:

  • $100 to $250 for failure to provide documents and reports
  • $250 to $1,500 for failure to complete a route “depending on the severity of the incident"
  • $2,500 to $10,000 for delivery of solid waste and recyclables to a non-designated facility.

The agreement shows that the fines assessed by the city would be deducted from payments to Waste Pro under the contract.

Waste Pro blamed the lapse in service on pandemic-related staffing issues. Their legal filing, which is in response to the city's own lawsuit filed this month, claims many service issues had been resolved within a "cure period," and had not been taken into account as the city assessed fines.

The waste management company is seeking a jury trial.