HOLT, Fla., Oct. 25, 2018–Adams Sanitation customers will see an increase in their trash bills in their next billing cycle as part of new ownership adjustments to the service.
But with the increase comes expanded services such as bulk, yard waste and appliance pickup at no extra charge.
And bagging the trash is no longer required.
Nathan and Crystal Boyles, Holt residents, purchased the company in March from the Booth-Adams family who owned and operated it for more than 35 years.
A small company at its beginning with only a handful of customers, Adams Sanitation grew to include Holt, Baker, Milligan, Blackman and Escambia Farms and the surrounding area.
Purchasing the company gave new owner Nathan Boyles an opportunity to put his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering to work. His degree included a focus in environmental engineering and the mechanics of waste operations, to include trash collection and disposal.
“The customer’s concern is only that the waste disappear, but there are complex systems in place to support the environmentally sound collection and disposal of such large quantities of waste,” said Boyles. “That background made the opportunity to own a trash company very interesting to me.”
What’s it cost?
Along with new ownership comes changes, including the increase in monthly fees.
New charges for residential service, which began Oct. 1, will be $27.50 per month, a $6.50 increase.
Adams customers had not seen a rate increase in about eight years, according to Boyles, even though the cost of doing business—fuel, labor, dumping fees, etc.—had gone up.
“This left very little money to reinvest,” he said. “The company badly needed to update equipment, buy trashcans and have a physical office to serve customers in.”
Adams relocated and opened business operations in Baker with walk-in service space for customers.
Additionally, changes were made to take care of the workforce.
“We have also invested in adequate insurance to protect the employees and customers, raises for drivers who work long hours collecting garbage in every weather condition northwest Florida has to offer,” said Boyles. “We’ve even added a 401k plan so those employees can start planning for the future and still provide for their families today.”
Of course all of these improvements cost money and the rate had to be adjusted,” he said.
Other waste removal services in parts of the unincorporated county are either higher or provide less services for the price, he said.
With the changes comes a change in billing as well. Customers will be billed on a monthly basis rather than quarterly or yearly.
“Quarterly billing created some cash flow challenges,” Boyles said. “We are honoring all accounts that were paid in advance whether quarterly or annually. Those accounts will be charged the new rate when any existing credit expires.”
To make bill paying easier, Adams now offers electronic payments directly from bank accounts.
“We are now also offering [an automated clearing house] payment option that is free for the customer and alleviates the need to worry about making a payment each month,” Boyles said.
And for customers 65 years or older, Adams offers a $5 senior discount.
For no extra charge, services include appliance and bulk and yard waste pickup. Appliance removal must be scheduled rather than left at curbside.
Bulk items placed by trash cans must weigh less than 40 pounds. One large bulk pickup can be scheduled as part of the service. Additional large pickups cost $25, plus disposal fees.
For those who prefer to recycle, recycling bins will be available 24 hours at the Baker office in early November.
Additionally, all customers either have been or will be issued an Adams Sanitation trashcan.
Ordering new trashcans was one of the first actions the new owners took earlier this year, said Boyles.
“Nearly one-third of the customers didn’t have trashcans,” he said. “We worked to get them distributed as quickly as possible.”
And customers no longer are required to bag all their garbage.
Customers may have noticed the large open-bed trucks have disappeared. Instead, mini trash trucks have replaced the fleet.
“It is nearly impossible to get workers’ compensation insurance coverage for manually loading garbage trucks,” Boyles said. “The work is dangerous for the workers.”
Drivers were required to lift large heavy garbage bags by hand and fling them into the back of the truck.
“You would be amazed at the amount of weight some people will try to put in a garbage baggage without considering that the bag has to be tossed overhead and into the back of a truck by an employee who may be servicing as many as 460 stops in a day,” he said.
Boyles’ first time out on a route was an eye-opener for him.
“On my first day riding on a route, as I was preparing to buy the business, we stopped at a house that had several heavy-duty construction trash bags slammed full with empty beer bottles,” he said.
Adams Sanitation’s customer base continues to grow, according to Boyles.
“Between service enhancements and having trashcans, people started signing up for service,” he said. “In the plus-seven months, we’ve added 200 new customers.”