The Real Reason You Can’t Get Adams Sanitation Trash Service In South Santa Rosa County.

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Why you can't get Adams Sanitation in South Santa Rosa County

Why Doesn’t Adams Service South Santa Rosa County?

We have received a TON of questions from people over the last couple of months concerning when we will  begin to service  south f Santa Rosa County. 

Midway, Navarre and everyone else in unincorporated South Santa Rosa County appears to be stuck with once-weekly service from Waste Pro for the time being. 

That’s not the way we want it – but that’s the way it is… for now. 

Here’s Why:

Franchise Areas

Starting a trash company is really expensive – truck costs ($150,000 – $350,000 per truck), plus carts, dump fees, employees, medical insurance, truck insurance, an annoying marketing guy, etc. All this expense means trash companies typically need to have enough customers close enough together to make the business model work without having to charge an arm and a leg to take your trash away. On the other hand, the state of Florida mandates that there be trash service available to every member of the community – no matter how remote they are – not ideal for a business that makes its money by servicing customers close together quickly. Because of this, local governments, either cities or counties, will sometimes sign an exclusive franchise agreement with a company to provide service for a whole area so the companies have to service the rural areas in exchange for the opportunity to service the profitable areas. 

At some point in the past, Santa Rosa County’s Board of County Commissioners decided to implement  a franchise area in two areas of the county. The ‘South Franchise Area’ came into being first and is made up of all of the unincorporated areas south of Eglin Air Force Base. Think, Navarre, Midway, Wynnehaven Beach and Tiger Point. Later on, the Commission saw it fit to establish a franchise area in the northern part of Santa Rosa County (Pace, Parts of Milton outside of the city, et cetera). 

Places like the city of Jay, which outsources trash collection to Adams Sanitation and the City of Milton, which has its own trash service don’t fall under the ‘Franchise Area’ agreement we are talking about. 

Basically, these franchise areas work the same way they do for cable companies (I know that probably made you love the idea even less than you already did). This is the way it works in a couple of steps. 

  1. The County asks for bids from different companies – The county is supposed to announce that they are starting a new franchise area, or are looking for a possible change in the exclusive trash pick-up provider. Because that didn’t exactly happen in Santa Rosa County’s north end franchise last year – we were able to get a permit to operate in the northern end of the county.. 
  2. The County then looks at the bids and selects one – In an exclusive franchise agreement, like the one that is currently in place in South Santa Rosa County, Florida Law allows the county to choose one provider and award them the contract to pick up trash 
  3. The waste hauler then is allowed to begin servicing the area for the amount of time that is in the contract. In the case of the South Santa Rosa County Contract, Waste Pro was granted the right to service the area for the next five years, albeit without any competition….  

So what can we do to change this?

Adams Sanitation believes that competition is good for the marketplace and for the consumer. We know we could provide great service at a fair price to south Santa Rosa County. We think that a majority of the  Santa Rosa County Commissioners probably agree with us. However, we also think the County is concerned about liability to Waste Pro.  Unlike the Northern Santa Rosa County franchise area – the Southern Santa Rosa County franchise area was likely created properly. However, none of that changes the fact that Waste Pro was able to renegotiate the terms of the contract and fundamentally change the terms of service (reducing service and increasing price) without having to face any competition. Right now, the best recourse that the  the citizens of the south end of the county have is to directly appeal to the elected commissioners of the county. You can tell your commissioners that you support them allowing competition in the South end of the County so that you have an additional choice in trash service. 

Waste Pro seems to be having  difficultly fulfilling its obligations in other areas of the southeast – and has been kicked out by elected officials in Memphis and Temple, Georgia, and has been threatened to be kicked out in Cape Coral, Florida after trash wasn’t picked up for more than five weeks in some places. There is a certainly precedent for elected leaders to kick companies with a franchise agreement out for poor performance or when the contract isn’t fair to the public. 

You can find out how to contact your county commissioner by clicking the button below:   

Christopher Saul is the Chief Marketing Officer for Adams Sanitation. When he isn’t slinging hot garbage from the keyboard – he is spending time with his family. He also likes to watch his SMU Mustangs play football and basketball. 

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