Waste Management overhauling garbage and recycling collection services

Waste Management is overhauling its garbage and recycling collection services in Wildwood and other area communities.

Doug McCoy, the company’s district manager, told Wildwood commissioners Monday that Waste Management is converting its entire fleet to quieter natural gas-powered vehicles, automating its service and changing pickup days to once a week.

The changes do not affect residents in the Wildwood area of The Villages, which is under a separate waste collection contract. The new program already has been implemented in Inverness and Mount Dora.

About half of the company’s fleet currently operates on natural gas, McCoy said.

“We’d like to expand that to collection vehicles,” he said. “They’re quieter with no diesel smoke. We’re going to sneak up on some folks.”

Automation means that the trucks will lift and dump bins. This requires use of 32-gallon bins, which will be distributed to residents by April 1. Bins of other sizes cannot be used.

McCoy said the automation will extend the careers of older employees because they no longer will have to lift the bins.

He said all collection will be on the same day each week. Separate trucks for garbage and recycling will complete their routes on either Tuesdays or Fridays and a third truck will follow to pick up materials outside of the bins.

On holiday weeks, McCoy said, the collection schedule will be delayed by one day for everyone.

Mayor Ed Wolf asked McCoy to help the city make sure residents put their collection bins near the road only on collection days.

The mayor also praised Waste Management for the cleanliness of its collection and transfer facility along County Road 462 in Wildwood.

“I’ve never had a complaint about your facility,” he said.

McCoy responded that “it’s a matter of pride” for employees.