Squabble over Seminole Co. waste escalates beyond trash talking


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Officials in Seminole County are squabbling over who should pick up trash in schools.

The school district just hired a new trash collection company but the city of Winter Springs says it already has its own solid waste crews that cover schools inside the city limits.

The back and forth is getting so heated, lawyers are involved and soon, police will be too.

Like most people, Winter Springs resident Ann Russolese doesn't think about trash except on trash day.

"I'm just happy that it happens, that we are able to take our trash out to the curb and it's gone in just a few hours," Russolese said.

The district's new hire, WAC of Florida, will take over solid waste services at every school, including the ones in Winter Springs on Friday, but the city already pays Waste Pro to handle that.

Officials aren't talking trash when they say they will write a ticket to anyone, besides Waste Pro, hauling off solid waste.

"Only our current franchisee can collect trash so anyone that comes into our city trespassing on our franchise, will be stopped and given a ticket," Mayor Charles Lacey of Winter Springs said.

Eyewitness News tried to find out why the district officials can't exclude Winter Springs from their new contract, or whether that would jack up the rates they've already negotiated.

Instead they said no one can comment on this issue due to the possibility of litigation.

"They're talking about litigation and that at the end of the day is a remote, remote possibility," Lacey said.

Attorneys from both sides are trying to sort it out now.

Russolese hopes that happens soon so no more money is wasted on waste.

"I'm surprised that it escalated to this point," Russolese said.