INTERRUPTION OF SERVICES -
OPPOSE CS/CS/HB 971
) will be considered by the full House of Representatives this Friday, March 2, at 10:30 AM.
The bill requires solid waste customers to receive a refund from the provider (the city or its contracted vendor) if collection service is not provided within 4 calendar days of a scheduled service day. If a refund is not provided within 60 days of the next billing cycle, the customer is entitled to receive a fine that is ten times the amount of the refund.
The refund must be given, even when the service is ultimately provided. The city or the vendor will incur the same cost for providing the service, even if it is delayed. For cities that provide their own waste services, this means that local taxpayers will have to absorb the cost of providing services to customers who experience delays.
The bill makes no exception for natural disasters, which can result in conditions lasting longer than 4 days that render collection service hazardous or impossible (downed lines, trees, flooding).
Outside of natural disasters, missed service is typically and readily handled on the same day when a customer calls and notifies the city or solid waste provider about a missed collection.
The bill has no requirement that a customer even notify a city about missed service. A city has no way to take corrective action and no way to determine when the 4-day “clock” starts.
Without a notification requirement for customers, it will fall to solid waste haulers and cities to install expensive video technology on each truck that is capable of documenting individual curbside collection. For cities that provide their own solid waste services, this will be an extraordinary and expensive unfunded state mandate.
This bill contradicts recommendations made by the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Recovery (such as discontinuing collection service 48 hours prior to storm and prioritizing service post-storm).
Should you have any questions, please contact Rebecca O’Hara at