Huntsville, AL

New Company Purchases the Huntsville Contract to Pick up Blue Recycle Carts After Bankruptcy & 2,000 Complaints Calls

Zack Love

Huntsville residents have experienced delays in recycling pickup for a while, with 2,000 complaint calls received in the last month alone. There is no promise that the situation will be immediately fixed, but a new company has purchased the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama (RANA) contract after Red River Waste Solutions recently filed for bankruptcy.

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RANA Recycling cartPhoto bySigmund on Unsplash (modified)

Huntsville residents: Have you experienced delays in your recycling pickup?

WAFF 48 News reported that the original contractor doing pick-ups for the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama (RANA), Red River Waste Solutions, recently declared bankruptcy.

This article will explain the reasons behind the recycling delays and Red River Waste Solutions issues leading up to declaring bankruptcy.

This isn’t surprising, given that there have been noticeable issues with pickup services for some time.

WAFF 48 News reported back in February 2022, Red River Waste Solutions was having trouble running on schedule “due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.” At that time, the City of Huntsville Public Works Department and Madison County Commission Waste Control Department temporarily assisted with curbside recycling collections that were behind schedule.

More on the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama (RANA)

The Recycling Alliance of North Alabama is a division of the Solid Waste Disposal Authority of the City of Huntsville (SWDA).

The website recycling program began and immediately offered an upgrade from the previous blue 18-gallon bins to blue 95-gallon rolling “carts” (they’re still “bins” in my book).

Recycling pickup day is determined by address location. My recycling pickup day, for example, is the second Tuesday of each month, but you still see residents that haven’t figured out the correct Tuesday, to put their bins out every first Tuesday. It doesn’t help that Red River Waste Solutions has had numerous issues collecting on the right day, causing more confusion.

Are they still coming? Are they not coming? Nobody really knows exactly.

RANA City Contract Has Been Purchased by Platform Capital, LLC

The Solid Waste Disposal Authority director, Doc Holiday, said that the RANA city contract has been “purchased by Platform Capital, LLC” and “will oversee pickup trucks and labor.” (Source: WAFF 48 News, S2)

He explained that the pandemic affected Red River Waste Solutions’ bottom line as they were contracted in six cities and had issues with paying their employees, while residential homes put out more trash, but businesses reduced the frequency of their pickups.

In short, they were not prepared for these new challenges that forced them to need more workers and have to stretch the pay across more employees, and that’s not to mention the challenges that arise when a pickup vehicle breaks down. 

The RANA Recycling Program Doubled Since the Start & Parts Issues

The challenges Red River Waste Solutions faced also include the fact that there were 45,000 households in the beginning, and since then, has doubled, according to Doc Holladay. 

More routes require more manpower and operational trucks.

Doc Holladay said:

“The supply chain has been impacted not only on new vehicles that are produced for solid waste collection but also in trying to get spare parts and all. And so, repairs that used to be something you could do in a day, or you could call someone and have a part overnighted, that’s no longer the case.” -Doc Holladay, Solid Waste Disposal Authority director (Source: WAFF 48 News, S1)

WAFF 58 News reported “only 5 out of 7 recycling trucks are currently operational due to a “parts shortage.” (Source: WAFF 48 News, S2)

Update: RANA Pickup is ‘7 Days Behind Schedule’

The RANA official website reported the following on its website:

“Due to downed equipment and parts shortage, collections are seven days behind. Trucks have been brought in from other areas to assist in route completion. We appreciate your patience as crews work to complete all November recycling collection. Crews are working on 3rd Thursday routes today (11/28). ALL remaining routes for November will be delayed as well. Check back for continuous updates.” -RANA website

WAFF 48 News reported that according to Huntsville city councilman Bill Kling, “RANA received over 2,000 complaint calls in the last month alone.

“I see those bins staying out several days,” said Councilman Kling. “I know a fellow city councilmember had a situation where her blue bin was out for over two weeks before it was collected, so we’re aware of it, and believe me you can be sure that the Solid Waste Authority is aware of it.” -Bill Kling, Huntsville city councilman (Source: WAFF 48 News, S2)

At the moment, there is no promise that your recycling will return to the original schedule assigned to residents by RANA, but be prepared to leave your blue rolling RANA cart at the curb for several days.

Update: The City of Huntsville announced that it will be assisting RANA on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 to pick up and empty any recycle cart that is still sittiart sitting curbside this weekend.

Sources

S1. Cornell, Jasmyn. “City of Huntsville, Madison County to assist with RANA curbside recycling collections.” WAFF 48 News. 1 February 2022.

S2. Plotka, Megan. “RANA contractor declares bankruptcy, new company to take over amid recycling pick up delays.” WAFF 48 News. 30 November 2022.

RANA official website.

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Zack covers interesting and inspiring news stories that impact local communities. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA.

Huntsville, AL
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