RINCON — The Rincon City Council and City Manager John Klimm pounced on an opportunity to clean up some confusion about trash pick-up Monday night.
As the council was being asked during a regularly scheduled meeting to accept a transfer of a sanitation services from Waste Pro of South Carolina to Capital Services LLC, the council and Klimm notified representatives of both companies about some concerns, especially about recycling.
“The question to you is about quality of service,” Klimm said. “It is going to go up? Is it going to go down? Is it going to stay the same?
“What commitment are you making to us?”
Klimm and the council made it clear that the status quo isn’t acceptable. He and council members have received a bevy of calls from citizens who are unhappy with Waste Pro, which is working to complete a sale to Capital Services, a Columbia, South Carolina-based company, on Feb. 15.
“Everything will pretty much run like it is running now,” Waste Pro Regional Manager Jim Sanelli said.
“I hope not,” Mayor Ken Lee said, interrupting Sanelli.
Earlier, Councilman Damon Rahn asked about “back charges” applied to Waste Pro for instances of not living up to its two-year-old contract with the City of Rincon. There is a stipulation in the deal that allows for a $200 fine each time Waste Pro doesn’t respond to a call from a city official within 24-48 hours.
“We haven’t implemented that but when the transfer takes place it is the policy of the city to implement that provision,” Klimm said.
“We really began to see a noticeable change (in service) in a bad way about six months ago,” Lee said. “Up until that point, or maybe a little longer now, service was pretty much as promised, but that has not been the case in any way for the last six months.”
Sanelli replied that he was assigned to Rincon’s Waste Pro region six weeks ago and he is working to make sure his company and Capital Services live up to their end of the bargain.
Sanelli said he and Klimm are working to set up monthly meetings with staffers to make sure all customer issues are handled appropriately and timely. Klimm called Sanelli “responsive.”
“The biggest issue is recycling,” Councilman Levi Scott said. “We spend a lot of time and effort with company to educate people about recycling ... The company has discouraged people from recycling on the pickups, the way they handle it.
“Some of the calls that we’ve had basically say, ‘I shouldn’t have to pay for recycling because I’ve got aggravated because they are not picking it up and I just putting it in my garbage. This is not two, three or 10 people.”
Sanelli and Klimm noted that there was confusion in the contract about recycling pickup days due to “vague language.”
“In order to make it a littler clearer, we are going to make sure that calendars go out so that customers do know,” Sanelli said.
Waste Pro has been picking up items for recycling during the second and fourth week of each month. City officials want it done every other week.
Sanelli agreed to pickup recycling every other week and a Capital Services representative concurred.
“We can start that immediately,” Sanelli said.
Capital Services is also set to take over track pick-up in Springfield. Customer rates will remain the same for the duration of the contracts there and in Rincon.