Coral Springs, Florida  04/08/2014

It is bad enough to see all of the empty stores, office space and a corporate park that is half empty, that the city commissioners gave out a contract to WastePro that provides no relief at all for businesses in this city.  In fact, most business literally got shafted when  the previous contract holder, went around to all of their business customers and got 3 year contracts signed prior to the city giving away the contract to WASTE PRO.   However there is a secret that the city has not told anyone, that is, you do not have to send all your garbage to WastePro, but can use another trash hauler to handle the recycling. For our condo association in the corporate park this amounts to a 50% savings in our trash bill! $13,000 worth.

How is this possible and why has the city, especially the existing commissioners not told us about this? Simply put, the city does not get their 15% Franchise fee on the recycling contracts. They make it only when WastePro is the contractor.

Trash is not Trash

There are two types of trash services for our city:

1. regular trash which includes bio-wastes including food etc.

2. recyclable trash which is paper, glass, metal, plastics etc ( most of the wastes).

if you have a home in Coral Springs  you automatically get both services from WastePro, the company that the city commissioner save a 15 year contract to, at a cost higher than before.  So you have two bins, one for regular trash, the green bin,  and the other blue one for recyclable..or is it the other way around since I am color blind 🙂   The recyclable container is picked up by WastePro and is actually separated and recycled.  The other trash is simply dumped in the landfill site.

However, if you have a business, you are forced by our city ordinance to contract with  WastePro to handle you regular trash and you have also either a recycling bin from Southern sanitation ( still) or one for WastePro.  This is because WastePro only has the contract for regular trash. However , you do have the have option to use any company you wish to handle recycling trash.

Since almost all businesses dump ALL their  trash into the Wastepro system, most businesses have large bins with pickups 2 or more time per week.  With this trash, Wastepro simply buries the stuff in the dump, which is not environment friendly ( see below) .

Most business trash is recyclable, that is defined as  paper, plastic, metal, glass and very little comes from non-recyclable wastes such as food. That means you can simply do as I did:  negotiate a contract with another trash hauling company to handle the recycling trash and lower you container size with Wastepro to the minimum 4 cubic feet.

The key here to save up to 50% on your trash is to get a trash recycling company to haul most of your garbage and lower the size of the container from WastePro to the smallest size possible for your non-recyclable.  Then…never use the WastePro unit! Ever! In fact, the recycling company has indicated that you can put up to 10% of food type wastes in the Recycling bin without any problems.

Franchise Fees: Taxes In Disguise

Almost everyone in our city that pays a utility bill of some sort has in it a special line item called  Franchise Fees.  Many years ago the city started charging these fees to the utility companies (FPL, ATT, Southern Sanitation, Advanced Cable etc.) for the privilege of selling us their services in our city. At the same time they allowed the utilities to pass on these charges directly to the customers.  You pay for these charges . Millions of dollars are collected by the city using this method.  Since they are not considered taxes, but Fees, you and I do not get to vote on them and the city can keep or lower our tax rate at will, simply by raising Franchise Fees by decree of the commission.  We do not vote on them and they are not included in the maximum of 3% that the homestead law dictates.  They are simply added to your invoice.   Take a solid look at your bill and you will be surprised.  The city gets a 15% Franchise Fee the Wastepro contract for businesses.  A  Franchise fee is nothing more than a hidden tax.

Again : Your business only has to use Wastepro for regular trash hauling and not for recyclable trash.

Go Green

There is also another advantage of getting another hauling company to handle your paper, plastics, glass , metal recyclable trash:  You are helping the environment.

I understand that all of the city commissioners hailed the fact that they are getting Wastepro to make the city more Green. In fact, they have made the city into a more trashy place since Wastepro does not recycle business trash in the regular bins!  They simply dump it….into the ground and cover it up.   All those papers, plastic , glass etc , buried into the ground, just when you start to believe that this Wastepro contract was a good thing for the city.

If you use a recycling trash company,  they do recycle.  That means all of the business garbage, from those 40% empty office buildings, from the corporate park, from other businesses in Coral Springs, if they all go with another company other than WastePro,  you are going GREEN.

So why have we not been told all of this by our city commissioners? Simply put , they need the revenue for their ambitious projects, such as the  $30 million dollar city hall and city center.  Wastepro gives them the 15% we pay for the franchise fee on whatever they can collect from us.  The other recycling companies do not have the obligation.

To be clear, no one has lied to us about the WastePro contract. Instead they have not told us everything we should know, and definitely when it comes to businesses in Coral Springs, once again they are doing everything they can to drive them away by making the cost to do  business in coral springs like throwing money into the garbage …literally.

it is time we all paid attention to who we elect to office.  This is why I am running for city commission since it is about time we pay attention.

If you want to know the name of the recycling company that I used, or have any comments of this article please contact me directly at  954-229-3999 or email me by clicking below.   You can also go to my campaign website by clicking the banner at the top of the page.

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This article was written by Howard Melamed,  Editor of  Howard Melamed is running for City Commissioner Seat #4 .  Howard Melamed over the past 14 years has been writing articles on this website and has provided editorial content similar in fashion to this one.

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Author: HelpMeHoward