Executives and supervisors at Waste Pro often walk around facilities with wads of hundred-dollar bills in their pockets.
The money is for Franklin Awards: They will randomly walk up to employees, in any department, and pass out $100 bills for good work and good deeds on the job. It could come from a letter written by a customer. Or something the supervisor notices from behind the scenes.
Waste Pro will need a lot of Franklins for its latest project, a $14.2 million expansion of its Manatee County facility. Scheduled for completion by July, the expansion is partially to meet the needs of an extension in its contract with Manatee County. The contract, for most of the west side of the county, is to pick up single-stream recycling, where residents will have one 64-gallon cart. Under the old system, residents received one cart for paper and another for other recyclables.
The contract extension will last through at least 2023. Longwood-based Waste Pro, with about $600 million in annual in revenues, contracts in eight Southeast states and 2,800 employees, expects to hire 20 people in Manatee for the new contract.
Expansion work includes $2 million on a compressed natural gas plant and $1 million for a 30,000-square-foot collection center, called a material recovery facility, with two landing docks and a 75-foot scale. The center will be able to handle 20,000 tons of recyclables a year.
There's also nearly $5 million for a dozen new compressed natural gas recycling trucks and $2.4 million on equipment. “There's a lot of activity going on to start a pick-up contract,” says Keith Banasiak, Waste Pro's regional vice president of Southwest Florida, which stretches from Tampa to Naples.
The project also goes deeper than Manatee County work and proves how committed Waste Pro is to the region. Says Banasiak: “This definitely opens up a lot of doors with other municipalities and corporate work.”