Cold Weather Hits the Lowcountry (copy) (copy) (copy)

A Waste Pro employee empties a bin during cold weather earlier this year. After complaints from Summerville residents, the town has found the company in breach of its contract and hired Carolina Waste this summer.

The town of Summerville hopes it's finally moving past the garbage collection debacle.

Earlier this year, town staff fielded hundreds of complaints about Waste Pro's garbage and recycling collection services.

The company frequently missed garbage pickups and delayed delivering recycling cans.

The town found Waste Pro in breach of contract in March and hired Carolina Waste and Recycling. But complaints about Waste Pro's poor service continued to pour in. And the town is still dealing with the company's leftovers, including hundreds of unclaimed cans.

On Wednesday, Summerville announced that Waste Pro has collected 97 percent of its 15,000 cans. But there are about 500 cans left that the town's street department will collect.

Residents are relieved that the town is moving forward.

Robyn Dudley, who lives in White Gables, said her Waste Pro garbage can was picked up a month ago. But Dudley is happy for those who are still stuck with the old bins.

"I'm pleased they're paying attention to the complete town," Dudley said.

Over the spring and summer, overflowing garbage bins sat on the edge of the town's streets.

Russ Cornette, director of public works and town engineer, fielded questions from angry residents at packed public works committee meetings. 

Some residents said Summerville looked like a third-world country.

The town said in June it was pressuring Waste Pro to ramp up services. Ultimately, Carolina Waste, which was supposed to begin work Aug. 1, was asked to begin services a month early because of the garbage chaos.

Garbage collection has been smooth so far with Carolina Waste, town spokeswoman Mary Edwards said.

"It's been a long process," Edwards said. “Right now, by the streets department taking an initiative, that’s our way to make everything right."

Cornette said the town's efforts are meant to ease the load on the residents.

"The town's efforts to collect the remaining Waste Pro cans are to simply provide some relief to our citizens that have unneeded multiple cans," he said.

Residents with empty Waste Pro cans are asked to place them at the curb before 7 a.m. Monday and allow them to remain there until the street department gets them. Collection efforts will continue through Aug. 31 and will extend to the following week if necessary, the town said.

There will be no collections on Labor Day.

If residents have Waste Pro cans that are full, they should contact Waste Pro directly at 843-645-4100.

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