RANA contractor declares bankruptcy, new company to take over amid recycling pick up delays

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 7:08 AM CST

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A change is coming to the curbs of north Alabama.

Red River Waste Solutions, the contractor for the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama (RANA), recently declared bankruptcy and was purchased by Platform Capital, LLC, according to Solid Waste Disposal Authority Director Doc Holladay.

He says the group’s responsibility is to provide and oversee pickup trucks and labor.

According to Holladay, issues around the pandemic impacted Red River’s bottom line. The are contracted in about six cities. During the lockdown, businesses reduced the frequency of trash pick-up, which means less pay for the pick-up company. At the same time, residential homes put out more trash but that pay rate stays the same no matter how much is put out on the curb. They needed to pay for more workers to pick up the additional waste. They just couldn’t make ends meet.

RANA is behind in picking up recycling because five of its seven trucks are not operational.

Here’s the latest update from their 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.

Huntsville city councilman Bill Kling says RANA received over 2,000 complaint calls in the last month alone. He says he’s just as frustrated as his constituents.

“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.”

Platform Capital, LLC officially bought Red River in August 2022. It has some experience with trash and recycling pickup companies. It runs one waste company that has a contract in one city.

It will face some challenges as it starts to run RANA. Holladay says several pick-up drivers are not staying with the company so they’re currently hiring new drivers as well as mechanics.

Holladay says his team is set to release a recovery plan soon but did not give an exact timeline.