Martin working to get cans to customers as surge of last-minute applications come in

Published 9:30 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Two weeks into the takeover of rural sanitation by Martin Environmental Services, the company is working hard to make sure everyone gets their cans for pickup.

Martin CEO Brandon Hurst said since the turnover on July 1 they have received thousands of applications for service, either through curbside pickup or a subscription to use the convenience centers. He said they have around 6,000 signups so far.

“People are literally applying to the tune of 100 or more a day. We have to enter all of those in manually,” Hurst said, explaining why customers might not immediately be able to get a representative on the phone.

Carts are also going out as fast as the company can manage given the influx of last-minute signups. Hurst said part of the problem is so many people waiting to sign up until after the county’s convenience centers closed.

Some have said they were not aware of the change and that the county sprung the closures on them, but the decision was made on April 13. The county’s 3-2 decision to turn over sanitation services to Martin Environmental through an exclusive franchise agreement was proceeded by several public hearings. All of the public hearings were well attended with the vast majority in attendance opposing the change.

Hurst said Martin sent out 14,000 letters to county residents informing them of the change after the decision was made but many waited months to act.

The people who waited to register will likely have to wait for their cans as well.

“There are over 5,000 cans on the ground and there’s currently probably 800 to 1,000 waiting on their carts,” Hurst said, “We’re delivering about 300 a day but then there’s also around 100 to 150 people still applying every day.”

Hurst said 2,800 people signed up in a five-day period. He said they believe that they will be through the surge by next week.

Hurst said that the people who signed up during the surge have had to wait 10-12 days to get their trash can. Right now, the wait is about a week. He estimates that by Wednesday the wait will be down to five days or less.

“Each truck can deliver about 150 cans per day. Most days are delivering about 300 per day,” Hurst said.

In a few months, there will likely be little to no wait to get a can once most people who want to sign up have done so, Hurst said.

Hurst said for those who have signed up but haven’t received their cards can drop off their trash at one of their convenience centers without needing to use their punch card.