Article Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
By Brooke Baitinger
Published September 18, 2019
There’s a new kind of trash can littering some of Boca
Raton’s gated and homeowners association communities, blocking carports and
driveways and snagging people’s daily routines.
96-gallon gray trash bins don’t fit in garages. They’re too
heavy to move. And some homeowners associations don’t allow
them to be kept outside, according to residents.
“We had these huge trash cans that are suitable for the back
of a restaurant delivered to our homes,” said Paulette
Snyder, 75, who lives in the Villa San Remo community off
Snyder said her subdivision should have received smaller
65-gallon bins but instead got the 96-gallon ones. She and
her neighbors struggled to find room for the carts on their
property, she said.
Snyder said her community’s association told her she can’t
keep the new bin outside, but it won’t fit inside her
garage. And she can’t move the bin either way, hindered by a
past abdominal surgery that prevents her from lugging around
the bulky bin.
“This is community chaos,” she said. “The way this was done
was totally off the wall and nonsensical.”
Palm Beach County’s Solid Waste Authority started issuing
the bins recently for a new program starting Oct. 1. The new
program will “automate” the system, meaning only one driver
is needed to operate most of the dump trucks that lift the
bins up and dump the contents into the back of the truck.
Residents of the Boca Pointe community were supposed
to receive 65-gallon carts for a new collection program starting
Oct. 1, but mistakenly received the 96-gallon carts.
That saves taxpayer money, according to waste authority spokesman Willie Puz.
“Automated collection service has been a trend nationwide,” Puz said. “These
carts aren’t any different than what’s being used throughout the nation. The
discrepancy is what’s best for the individual. That’s the debate.”
The waste authority offers 48-gallon, 65-gallon and 96-gallon cans with the
new program, with the 96-gallon cans set as the standard to provide the
largest carts for the most amount of people. The waste authority then worked
with gated and HOA communities to determine the best cart size for each
But some of the bins were apparently distributed to the wrong neighborhoods,
including in the Boca Pointe and Villa San Remo communities. The wide trash
cans, designed to accommodate larger families living in unincorporated
areas, don’t fit in the smaller gated communities.
That’s causing problems in HOA-dominated Boca. For those who live alone or
with one other person in a condo or apartment, the bins are way too big.
The authority has promised to replace the 96-gallon bins that were delivered
to the wrong communities before the Oct. 1 deadline. In Snyder’s case, the
bins have already been replaced with smaller 65-gallon containers.
In January, after a 90-day waiting period that will get residents through
the high trash volume holidays, those who want smaller trash bins can apply
Those who can’t get their garbage and recycling to the curb for medical
reasons can apply for back-door service, in which the driver picks trash up
from the doorstep.
Of Palm Beach County’s 641,726 parcels, the Solid Waste Authority services
about 279,355 unincorporated properties, or about 43%. The authority
services all parcels for disposal and processing of residential garbage,
recyclables, yard waste and bulk waste.
The 96-gallon bins were chosen to give the largest size to the most amount
of people. The waste authority then worked with specific communities, such
as HOA-run neighborhoods.
“We understand there is no cart that everybody is going to be happy with,”
Puz said. “It is the process best for the county residents as a whole to get
them the same standardized level of service for the best cost.