Waste Haulers buys Coastal Recycling

Waste Haulers buys Coastal Recycling

NORTH SMITHFIELD - A growing waste collection company with contracts across Rhode Island has purchased a struggling competitor, and all of the trash and treasure that come with the business.

Waste Haulers recently bought Coastal Recycling, and has taken over the company's collection routes in North Smithfield and Cumberland. Residents can expect to see new drivers along streets in both towns, and town officials are asking for patience during the transition.

"What you'll see in the next several weeks is probably some double-backing and new drivers and people looking at routes for the first time, so you may see some issues," said North Smithfield Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton. "I think you may see a little bit of confusion."

In addition to taking over the company's customers, Waste Haulers has assumed ownership of Coastal's full fleet of trucks and other property. Over the next few weeks, they'll repair the vehicles and paint them with the Waste Haulers logo. Some material has already been moved from the Coastal property on Great Road to their transfer station on Canal Street.

The company is also expected to make good on Coastal's promises, including a plan to finish distributing recycling bins to Cumberland residents.

Happy about the transfer is Mayor Daniel McKee of Cumberland, who championed Coastal over a competitor during the 2011 bid process but has since admitted disappointment with Coastal's service.

"The rollout of the recycling bins was real sloppy, probably a reflection of the current state of business affairs," he said.

Cumberland Town Council members have had Coastal's president, Anthony Davidson, before them twice to question the slowness of the distribution of the recycling bins that go with new automated trucks.

The trouble has extended to North Smithfield, where complaints about the service have led Town Council members to question paying the bill on more than one occasion.

"My neighborhood has consistently not had its trash pickup on Friday like it's supposed to," said Councilor Paul Zwolenski. "We've had drivers that are missing certain roads."

"I'm getting a lot of complaints, too," said Councilor Thomas McGee at Monday's town meeting at Kendall Dean School. "There hasn't been a lot of care from the guy on the back of the truck."

Davidson could not be reached for comment.

Waste Hauler has inherited a contract for collection services in North Smithfield that ends in June, at which time, Hamilton said, the town has the option of renewing for one year.

While she said she does not yet know how North Smithfield will move forward, a short-term agreement looks like a good possibility.

"I not sure exactly how we'll handle it," Hamilton said. "I'll have to see how they do for the next several months and then if we have to go out to bid we will. If not, we'll extend for one year before going to a lengthy multi-year contract."

McKee noted that Cumberland's contract with Coastal requires the town to allow the company assets to be transferred with certain provisions that are being worked on now.

A public announcement that details the change for residents will come after the transfer is complete, he said.

McKee said he's met with Waste Haulers officials and said, "It seems like a good company. I would expect them to put the right foot forward."