Florida Rep. Randy Fine withdrew a “no-pickup, no pay” bill March 2 that would have forced waste haulers and municipalities to refund customers if trash collection was more than four days late, even in the event of hurricanes and other natural disasters, Florida Today reports.
Fine filed House Bill (HB) 971 on Dec. 11, 2017, after complaints arose in his district, specifically in Palm Bay, Florida, over neglected service before and after the arrival of Hurricane Irma in September.
Under the bill, private companies and municipalities would have been prohibited from charging customers for collections that were more than four days late, required haulers to provide a refund for missed services on the customer’s next bill and forced collectors to pay a fine 10 times the amount of the charged bill if payment was more than 60 days delinquent.
Fine said he withdrew the bill after reaching an agreement with Waste Management Inc. of Florida to address some of his concerns over the missed collections.
Waste Management, which is headquartered in Houston, has agreed to a number of provisions to prevent problems in the future, including publicizing a telephone number citizens can call for missed collections, reviewing a proposal in which pickups would be increased from once to twice a week and analyzing best practices within the company to better address missed collections during other catastrophic events.
Fine issued a statement March 2 saying he wanted "to thank Waste Management for working with me to address the concerns of my constituents. The legislative process has worked. HB 971 was developed organically in response to requests from my constituents, and the attention it has garnered has created a cooperative partnership to get them resolved. I look forward to this shared commitment to ensure that all garbage is picked up in a safe and timely manner.”