Polk County settles part of $1.5 million dispute with trash pickup company about over-billing

Polk County fights with trash pickup company

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Imagine over-paying one of your household bills for the past seven years.

That's exactly what happened in Polk County and Commissioners have been in a money fight ever since they figured it out. 

Tuesday morning, Commissioners confirmed they approved a settlement agreement of $1.5 million.

The county says Republic Services of Florida owed them around $1.5 million for overcharging its customers between the 2005 and 2011.

After threats of a lawsuit in court, Republic signed a settlement agreement.

The county said the money was paid last week, and today's approval of the settlement confirmed they have received all $1.5 million.

Republic has been accused of mixing trash pick up from county residents with other garbage in an attempt to avoid fees when it unloaded at the county landfill.  Still the question remains if the county will continue its partnership with Republic.  Both parties are scheduled to meet in mediation between now and March 8.

County attorney Michael Craig says there are still a few contractual obligations that need to be met by Republic, issues the county says its working on.

Last summer, the county sent out letters to affected owners on how to claim their part of the settlement. County officials say so far $300 thousand has been distributed, with more still out there.

Polk County residents who still have questions about the refund process can call the Polk County Waste Resource Management Division at 863-284-4319.

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