Residents say the choice of garbage companies to cart away their trash in Port Jefferson are slim to none.
And, after years of service, some villagers recently saw their garbage collection company change hands from Quick-Way to Maggio.
Many have wondered what happened, and why they don’t have more choices.
According to competing companies, there is a tipping point to make it worthwhile to do business in Port Jefferson — and unless they hit that mark, choices for homeowners will remain limited.
People took to the Unofficial Port Jeff Villagers Facbeook page to figure out what was going on after Quick-Way sold its contract.
A resident who called Quick-Way for an explanation began a discussion on the Facebook page, saying “they told me that it is no longer cost effective for them to service the few customers they have in Port Jeff Village.”
“They also told me that although there is a list of about 10 different carting companies for PJ they are for the downtown, commercial dumpsters, not residential,” the poster wrote.
Multiple messages left on Quick-Way’s company voicemail by GreaterPortJefferson seeking comment were not returned.
According to Patti Hamilton, a spokesperson from Maggio Environmental Services, her company purchased the contract from Quick-Way, saying that the practice was very common.
“It’s not at all unusual for companies to buy another company’s book of business,” she said by phone. “We bought their [Quick-Way] residential contracts. This happens all the time when people buy other people’s routes — not just in the waste business; it happens in water delivery, dry cleaning. We have done this many times.”
Maggio will run two trucks in the village for trash pickup.
Port Jefferson Village Clerk Bob Juliano said calls inquiring about the changeover have been minimal.
“People are wondering what is going on,” he said. “We’ve had more questions than complaints. This is all-new to some people.”
A post on the village website in response to inquiries states that any company can apply for a license to collect residential or commercial waste.
This week, seven companies were listed as approved carters, but only Maggio is permitted for residential garbage removal.
Another section of the website lists both Quick-Way and Maggio as options for trash removal at the time of the writing of this story.
The village website post goes onto explain that homeowners are free to contract with any licensed carter to collect garbage, and the village does not give preference to any specific company.
Juliano said carters interested in doing business in the village must file for a permit, provide a $2,500.00 bond payment and show proof of proper insurance.
The company must disclose the type of vehicles they will operate, along with basic information about the trucks.
There’s also a $50 filing fee and an additional $10 fee per truck that the company will operate in the village.
Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner who they want to contract with, if they meet the criteria and are approved. He also said that if the company wants to increase rates in the middle of their permit period of one year, they have to apply to the village.
“That’s really the extent that the village gets involved,” said Juliano.
The village routinely reminds residents over the phone that they are under no obligation to contract with any specific company.
“If there’s another company out there, they’re welcome to fill out an application,” Juliano said.
Joseph Colucci of Colucci Carting said he hopes to offer a choice for residents.
Colucci posted to Facebook and other social media outlets that his company was willing to take on the job if enough people signed up.
“The first week we were slammed with phone calls,” Colucci told GreaterPortJefferson by phone. “We got 20 phone calls.”
He said that in order to make it worthwhile, he would need to contract with a minimum of 250 households.
In the past, Colucci said he had collected garbage in the village but he had a minimal number of clients and eventually gave the business away to Quick-Way.
Colucci Carting services about 20,000 homes in Brookhaven and 9,000 in Islip contracted through the individual towns for waste removal.
The former mortgage loan officer said he started his carting business 11 years ago with one truck after working part time at Quick-Way.
Now he has 35 trucks in operation.
He said he would charge residents $35 per month for his service, which is on par with the price that residents report Maggio is charging. As for why Quick-Way gave up its contract, Maggio’s spokesperson said she could not provide any comment.
“Our focus is on providing excellent service to our customers in the Village of Port Jefferson,” said Hamilton.