Garbage pickup rates finally starting to fall

Hilton Head Island PacketMarch 5, 2014 


Hilton Head Island residents will likely never see trash pickup rates as low as they are now while Republic Services Inc. serves as the town’s sole trash hauler. But it’s encouraging to see more haulers making their way to the island and offering lower rates.

Residents now have a good opportunity to phone around and nab a good deal. A growing number of haulers are panting for their business.

Most recently, Waste Management announced lowered rates for residential service: $116 per quarter for weekly pickup instead of $150.77. And twice-a-week pickup will drop to $169 from $187.46.

It’s clear that the company is responding to an increasingly competitive, trash-hauling market. Already, Anchor Waste Services, i2recycle, Property Preservation Inc. and American Pride Waste Solutions have announced plans to provide residential service to the island. They join Waste Management, Waste Pro and Republic Services Inc.

Republic will no longer be the town’s sole residential waste hauler after March 31. As we have stated previously, both the town and the hauler share the blame for why the franchise agreement did not work out, and it’s best for all that the deal will soon end.

It looked as if town residents would be left in the lurch, paying three times as much for waste and recycling collection as of April 1.

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief the increase is unlikely to be that large. Hilton Head Plantation and Sea Pines property owners associations have received quotes ranging from $73.50 to $155 for weekly pickup and $88.50 to $207 for twice-a-week pickup. Before the franchise, Hilton Head Plantation residents paid about $85 a quarter with Waste Pro, said plantation general manager Peter Kristian.

But like Kristian, we’re reserving final judgment until we see the services these new haulers provide customers. Timely and efficient pickup is just as important as competitive rates.

Ultimately, it may take a few more months before it’s clear which haulers are the best and which will have short careers on Hilton Head. We’re keeping our fingers crossed any pickup kinks will be worked out before summer arrives and visitors flock to the island’s rental homes and condos.

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