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Nathan Boyles' company counter sues Waste Pro over Santa Rosa sanitation services

Annie Blanks
Pensacola News Journal

Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles' company, Adams Sanitation, is counter-suing Waste Pro over what it claims is an invalid contract amendment related to waste removal services in the south end of Santa Rosa County.

Adams Sanitation and Waste Pro have been jockeying for the right to provide trash service to Santa Rosa County residents once Emerald Coast Utilities Authority stops serving the area next year.

Both Waste Pro and Santa Rosa County contend their franchise agreement signed in July 2020 gives Waste Pro the exclusive right to haul waste in the county beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Boyles argues the contract alone isn't enough to prohibit other waste removal services from operating in the area. 

More:Waste Pro files lawsuit to stop Adams Sanitation from operating in Santa Rosa County

In a press release, lawyers for Adams Sanitation said they "uncovered a clear error" in the county's franchise contract with Waste Pro.

The error, according to Adams, is that Waste Pro already had renewed its contract in the south end of the county in February 2020 to provide twice-a-week trash pickup service through 2023, before the most recent franchise agreement was signed in July 2020. The most recent franchise agreement allows Waste Pro to provide once-a-week trash pickup service to the entire county, including the south end, beginning in January, which would seem to contradict the twice-a-week contract it had previously renewed, Adams said. 

More:Left in the dust: Boyles wants Okaloosa’s dirt roads paved

"Our legal team is now preparing to seek an injunction to prevent the implementation of the improper contract amendment and preserve twice-weekly pick-up with weekly recycling for those citizens," Boyles said in the press release. "While Adams Sanitation will not benefit from this action, it is the right thing to do. Waste Pro should be held to the terms of the competitively bid contract that they entered.”

Waste Pro representatives did not provide comment Friday. 

Santa Rosa County Administrator Dan Schebler declined to comment.

Waste Pro filed its own lawsuit at the beginning of November alleging Adams Sanitation is unlawfully signing up residents in the central and north end of Santa Rosa County for its own trash service, despite not being issued a permit and despite Waste Pro being granted an exclusive franchise agreement for all unincorporated areas of the county. 

A Santa Rosa County judge is holding an emergency hearing on Waste Pro's lawsuit on Nov. 30. If Waste Pro is successful, Adams will have to stop marketing its services in Santa Rosa County until the matter is settled in court. 

Some county residents have reported getting flyers in the mail from Waste Pro informing them that Waste Pro is "the only licensed franchise hauler in Santa Rosa County" and telling them their service will switch from Emerald Coast Utility Authority (ECUA) to Waste Pro without interruption on Jan. 1. 

Adams has been telling customers it already has signed up to ignore the flyers. 

The Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday at 6495 Caroline St. in Milton to discuss the Waste Pro agreement. The meeting is open to the public. 

Annie Blanks can be reached at ablanks@pnj.com or 850-435-8632.