City Chooses Garbage Company - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

City Chooses Garbage Company

Posted: Updated:
A West Park official told a business owner she would have to change the waste management company she's used for years. A West Park official told a business owner she would have to change the waste management company she's used for years.
WSVN -- -

If you own a car, or a couch, Sherri Villacreses' company might have provided some of the materials.

Sherri Villacreses: "An upholstery shop for both cars and furniture. We use vinyl, leather, textiles; carpet headliner material, all textile material."

Saint Peter's Upholstery was in Hollywood for 34 years, and last year moved to the city of West Park.

Sherri Villacreses: "Yeah, we like it."

Then Sherri tried to renew her occupational license, and wasn't left in stitches.

Sherri Villacreses: "There was a letter with the renewal stating that we had to change our garbage company with a specific company that the city wanted us to use."

Turns out the city requires businesses to hire Waste Management or Republic Services, Inc. to pick up the garbage. Sherri has had a contract with Ace Waste Services for years.

Sherri Villacreses: "Oh, they are perfect. We love them. They are always on time; they have good service."

Sherri was told Ace could pick up at her business if they paid the city a fee, but Ace didn't want to pay thousands for one customer, and if Sherri didn't break her contract with Ace Waste, the city gave her more bad news.

Sherri Villacreses: "Stating we had to use one of their two selected service companies, and if we didn't choose one of them they couldn't renew our licenses, which means we couldn't be in business."

America is a capitalist country, where a person is free to chose to shop or buy from any company they want. At least that's what Sherri thought.

Sherri Villacreses: "Well, I think that we should have a choice to pick who we would like to pick up garbage, and not be forced by the city telling us what we have to do as far as that goes."

An Ace Waste official gave Sherri a state law that says a business that has recovery or recycling materials like textiles can use any company for disposal they want. The city official she showed it to was not impressed.

Sherri Villacreses: "Obviously I'm upset, especially when you go to the city and you ask them if there is anything that can be done. [They] just won't work with you. When we show them the state statute, they just won't listen to you."

Well, Howard, can a government agency force you to break a contract with one company and hire the company they chose that, by the way, had to pay the city a large fee to operate in their boundaries?

Howard Finkelstein: "When it comes to water, cable, garbage, cities can pick who operates and even force them to pay the city a fee, but here is the loophole Sherri tried to show a government official: The Florida legislature forces cities to allow taxpayers to hire any waste company they want, if more than 90 percent of the businesses' waste can be recycled. Sherri's company falls into that category, so she can hire whoever she wants."

We contacted the city manager for West Park. He told us Sherri misunderstood the policy, that their law is for garbage and bulk trash services, not recovery materials. Apparently he didn't know that Sherri had explained that she had recovery materials to another city official, and he ignored the state law, but the city manager corrected it. Sherri can continue to use the waste company shchooseses, and has also been given her occupational license.

Howard Finkelstein: "If a city or county blocks you from doing something, check the state laws. If the state law contradicts the city law, the state law always wins out."

It's good news for Sherri, whose occupational license was renewed by the city, and she kept the same waste removal company she has had for years.

Sherri Villacreses: "Yes, I'm so happy I contacted Help Me Howard, and thanks for getting the job done."

What's that old line? Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you? Sometimes it's just getting in touch with the right person, like the West Park city manager who quickly got it resolved. That's what we did, and that can work for you as well. If you think one city or county official is making a mistake, move up the chain of command. It works.

Troubles trashing your temperament? Recycling solutions that don't work? You are free to choose who you want, so dump it in our laps and let us clean things up. With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.

For more information on waste laws:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0403/Sections/0403.7046.html
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0403/Sections/0403.703.html

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

  • Out for JusticeMore>>

  • Patricia Williams

    Patricia Williams

    Friday, September 5 2014 11:02 PM EDT2014-09-06 03:02:18 GMT
    She was a troubled young mother who lived a dangerous lifestyle and early one morning she paid the price in North Miami Beach. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, 26 years later Patricia Williams' children want to know who killed their mother. Detectives are reopening a cold case and asking for your help.
    She was a troubled young mother who lived a dangerous lifestyle and early one morning she paid the price in North Miami Beach. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, 26 years later Patricia Williams' children want to know who killed their mother. Detectives are reopening a cold case and asking for your help.
  • Guerline Noel

    Guerline Noel

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:48:21 GMT
    Guerline NoelGuerline Noel
    She was a wife and mother who liked to help people, but one night she was brutally murdered in her own home. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, a year has gone by, and the case is cold, but detectives are still determined to find her killers.
    She was a wife and mother who liked to help people, but one night she was brutally murdered in her own home. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, a year has gone by, and the case is cold, but detectives are still determined to find her killers.
  • Heather Riggio

    Heather Riggio

    Friday, August 8 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-08-09 03:45:59 GMT
    Heather RiggioHeather Riggio
    She was only 19 years old and made a mistake that many young people do: She started hanging around with the wrong crowd. The next thing her family knew, she was gone. What happened to her? Here is tonight's Out for Justice with Patrick Fraser.
    She was only 19 years old and made a mistake that many young people do: She started hanging around with the wrong crowd. The next thing her family knew, she was gone. What happened to her? Here is tonight's Out for Justice with Patrick Fraser.
  • Carmel on the CaseMore>>

  • No Insurance: Driver Cleared After Crash That Left Woman Disabled

    No Insurance: Driver Cleared After Crash That Left Woman Disabled

    Wednesday, September 10 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-09-10 20:12:56 GMT
    Carrie CurrierCarrie Currier
    Most people know, to drive in Florida you must have car insurance, but there are hundreds of thousands of drivers who don't, and if you're hit by one of them, the consequences can be staggering. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
    Most people know, to drive in Florida you must have car insurance, but there are hundreds of thousands of drivers who don't, and if you're hit by one of them, the consequences can be staggering. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
  • New York rescue that got dogs from Miami-Dade shut down amid health concerns

    New York rescue that got dogs from Miami-Dade shut down amid health concerns

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-27 21:03:35 GMT
    A rescue organization in New York state has been closed by authorities based on claims it sold sick dogs. 7News has learned that for years, Miami-Dade Animal Services sent dogs to that rescue facility despite complaints from animal advocates. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
    A rescue organization in New York state has been closed by authorities based on claims it sold sick dogs. 7News has learned that for years, Miami-Dade Animal Services sent dogs to that rescue facility despite complaints from animal advocates. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
  • Escort service busted from within

    Escort service busted from within

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-08-27 20:58:40 GMT
    34-year-old Joshua Rubenstein and 58-year-old Doug Juiffre34-year-old Joshua Rubenstein and 58-year-old Doug Juiffre
    Two South Florida men are locked up tonight, arrested in connection with the operation of an escort service, and just one reporter was there from the beginning of a case that could be the first of its kind. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with the exclusive.
    Two South Florida men are locked up tonight, arrested in connection with the operation of an escort service, and just one reporter was there from the beginning of a case that could be the first of its kind. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with the exclusive.
  • 7News InvestigationMore>>

  • Captain of Controversy

    Captain of Controversy

    Capt. Francesco SchettinoCapt. Francesco Schettino
    In Italy this week, the captain of the Costa Concordia began pre-trial hearings he hopes will convince a judge that the deadly shipwreck was an accident and not a crime. Earlier this year, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero traveled to Italy for an exclusive interview with Captain Schettino and now has a special assignment report on what he will be telling the court.
    In Italy this week, the captain of the Costa Concordia began pre-trial hearings he hopes will convince a judge that the deadly shipwreck was an accident and not a crime. Earlier this year, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero traveled to Italy for an exclusive interview with Captain Schettino and now has a special assignment report on what he will be telling the court.
  • Till Death Do Us Part

    Till Death Do Us Part

    Thursday, November 7 2013 11:54 PM EST2013-11-08 04:54:26 GMT
    Alejandra Apraez said her wedding was ruined when the florist she hired did not show up. Alejandra Apraez said her wedding was ruined when the florist she hired did not show up.
    There is very little that will match a bride's wedding day -- a day, months, even years in the planning -- and one South Florida woman's wedding was ruined when the florist didn't show up. Why? A death ... but was there a death? Tonight, investigative reporter Patrick Fraser has the amazing story in a report we call "Till Death Do Us Part."
    There is very little that will match a bride's wedding day -- a day, months, even years in the planning -- and one South Florida woman's wedding was ruined when the florist didn't show up. Why? A death ... but was there a death? Tonight, investigative reporter Patrick Fraser has the amazing story in a report we call "Till Death Do Us Part."
  • Blackwater Fever

    Blackwater Fever

    It was a terrible form of malaria that killed two men. Turning their internal organs black. In south Florida we have almost wiped malaria out but now the concern -- it's spreading around us and could hit us. As...
    It was a terrible form of malaria that killed two men. Turning their internal organs black. In south Florida we have almost wiped malaria out but now the concern -- it's spreading around us and could hit us. As Patrick...
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Doral Park residents upset after trees obstruct view of golf course

    Doral Park residents upset after trees obstruct view of golf course

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:01:17 GMT
    DORAL, Fla. -- Residents living along a prestigious South Florida golf course have had their views of the course blocked and are now upset at the course owner-- Donald Trump.
    DORAL, Fla. -- Residents living along a prestigious South Florida golf course have had their views of the course blocked and are now upset at the course owner-- Donald Trump.
  • Police: Ex-boyfriend of missing woman killed himself

    Police: Ex-boyfriend of missing woman killed himself

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:56 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:56:42 GMT
    Roy BlancoRoy Blanco
    MIAMI -- The ex-boyfriend of Tanya Gonzalez, the missing South Florida woman whose body was believed to be discovered in the trunk of her car Tuesday, died after stabbing himself in the abdomen.
    MIAMI -- The ex-boyfriend of Tanya Gonzalez, the missing South Florida woman whose body was believed to be discovered in the trunk of her car Tuesday, died after stabbing himself in the abdomen.
  • Corruption trial begins for former Homestead mayor

    Corruption trial begins for former Homestead mayor

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:38:53 GMT
    MIAMI -- Former Homestead mayor Steven Bateman appeared before a judge for the first full day of his trial Tuesday after being arrested in Aug. 2013 on two felony corruption charges.
    MIAMI -- Former Homestead mayor Steven Bateman appeared before a judge for the first full day of his trial Tuesday after being arrested in Aug. 2013 on two felony corruption charges.
  • Help Me HowardMore>>

  • Gap Insurance Didn't Cover Gap

    Gap Insurance Didn't Cover Gap

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:24:46 GMT
    Did you know that many cars are worth less than the money owed on the loan? It's common, which is also why gap insurance is common to protect the car owner, but what happens when the gap won't cover the gap? It's why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    Did you know that many cars are worth less than the money owed on the loan? It's common, which is also why gap insurance is common to protect the car owner, but what happens when the gap won't cover the gap? It's why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
  • No Mail Boxes

    No Mail Boxes

    Monday, September 8 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-09-09 02:46:52 GMT
    The mail boxes for an entire neighborhood are vandalized, the Postal Service can't deliver the mail and residents can't get the boxes replaced. So legally, who has to pay for the new boxes? It's why one woman asked Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to deliver.
    The mail boxes for an entire neighborhood are vandalized, the Postal Service can't deliver the mail and residents can't get the boxes replaced. So legally, who has to pay for the new boxes? It's why one woman asked Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to deliver.
  • Hidden Gas Tax

    Hidden Gas Tax

    Thursday, September 4 2014 11:47 AM EDT2014-09-04 15:47:16 GMT
    How much tax do you pay for a gallon of gasoline? Think about it. Don't know? That's understandable because it's not shown, it's hidden from you. Can the state do that? It's why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    How much tax do you pay for a gallon of gasoline? Think about it. Don't know? That's understandable because it's not shown, it's hidden from you. Can the state do that? It's why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.