Apparently some of us got more of the new Palm Bay trash cans than others, but the real story is how much the city paid for them and why. While the city of Melbourne Florida let Waste Management pay for the trash cans at a cost of approximately $34.50 each, for some unknown reason, the city of Palm Bay Florida decided that they would pay for the trash cans out of borrowed and city money. The claim is that Palm Bay has a better credit rating and therefore can borrow money for less.
I can’t verify this, but supposedly Palm Bay purchased the 76,000 by spending money collected from sanitation fees and not from taxes. Any way you want to look at it, the money belongs to the citizens of Palm Bay because there would be no city services if we weren’t paying the taxes that created that mechanism. Some $2.6 million was spent on the trash cans and the amount that was borrowed will end up costing the city $480,000 in interest on top of the already $175,000,000 Palm Bay is in debt.
Another controversy surrounding the new trash cans is that they were purchased from Cascade Cart Solutions in Grand Rapids Michigan instead of a local Florida, Brevard County or Palm Bay business (both Lowes and Home Depot have them, though not 76,000. I’m sure something could have been worked out). With the local economy the way it is, it doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do for a municipality such as Palm Bay to spend $2.6 million to support a non local economy, but at least they kept it in the good old USA.
Beyond the controversy, the new Palm Bay trash cans are 64 gallons, made of commercial grade plastic (the same is available at Lowes and Home Depot…just sayin) and do hold quite a bit of garbage. I hope you read the rules that also came with your trash cans (recycling cans come later to take up space in your garage) because you are now supposed to bag all of your trash, not place anything outside of the can and all recyclables will now be placed in another container to follow. That means you will be breaking down boxes when you purchase your next 56″ mega flat screen TV.
When the final trash pick-up schedule goes into effect on Nov 15th, Palm Bay will then go to a one day per week pick-up vs 2 days per week. Don’t worry though, you will save a little money for less service, a whopping 75 or so cents per month.
I think the new cans are kinda cool despite the controversy, and as you can see from the top photo you can have a little fun with them.