CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — Citrus County Commissioners voted four-to-one Monday to notify current trash companies in the county that they are considering universal trash collection.

  • No change immediately forthcoming
  • Vote signals start of three-year period before change could be made
  • Commissioners can change their minds during consideration period
  • More Citrus County stories

No immediate change is forthcoming. Instead, the vote signals the start of a state law-mandated three-year notification period before the county could make the switch.

Commissioners could, under the law, change their minds during that period and not make the change.

Dozens of citizens came to Monday's commissioner's meeting to speak both for and against universal collection. Commissioners said they are looking at the issue with a cautious eye, stressing the vote today only gives them options. 

“This is a very small step in the whole overall scheme, and you’ve heard it said before that a year down the road, two years down the road, if we decide that this is not the right route to go we’re not going to take that route,” said Commissioner Brian Coleman. 

Commissioner Ron Kitchen expressed conditional support on universal trash collection following the meeting: “The only way that I’ll support this in the end is if it fixes the problems that we’re trying to get resolved and we do have recourse.” 

Commissioner Jimmie Smith, meanwhile, delivered the one vote against moving forward, and maintained his opposition after the vote.

“The citizen should have the right to fire the free market, should have the right to compete, come in and basically say, 'you know what? I can do it better, I can do it faster, and I can do it cheaper, and you should have the choice,” Smith said.