Northwest Florida Roundup
Elevate Waste Solutions saves commercial customers from incurring penalties
Putting a Lid on Garbage Costs
Elevate Waste Solutions saves commercial customers, such as restaurants, strip malls and apartment complexes, penalties imposed by large trash service companies when dumpsters are filled beyond capacity or contain large objects like mattresses or other bulky items.
“It used to be that garbage companies didn’t care about what was in or around dumpsters,” says Cary Stephens, who started the company with his son. “But now with new regulations, they’re charging customers higher fees for overflow. For example, if a dumpster lid is not completely shut, some garbage companies will charge customers an extra $150,” he says. “Other trash-collecting companies will simply drive on if they see large objects lying outside the dumpster.”
Elevate’s monthly service charge depends on what the current customer is paying for waste management. A typical strip mall, for example, depending on size, will be charged from $1,000 to $2,000. Stephens says he saves companies 20% to 30% in monthly service fees by monitoring trash bins weekly. Son Aidan loads overflowing items or any large uncontained object on a large truck and hauls them to a landfill.
- Pensacola has approved a $110-million apartment and retail development proposal for Community Maritime Park downtown. Inspired Communities of Florida will build up to 600 apartment units, a 900-space parking garage and up to 50,000 square feet of retail space. Inspired Communities developers include Dallas-based EJ Smith Enterprises, owned by famed NFL running back and Pensacola native Emmitt Smith.
- UAV Corp. is expanding its Skyborne Technologies operations in Gulf County with the goal of making space travel cheaper and more accessible to the public. UAV CEO Mike Lawson says by lowering the cost of space travel, the company can remain competitive in a fast-growing field. Lawson says UAV’s plans include development of a SkySpace airship that could transport passengers to space for about $50,000. The company’s current Gulf County facility also is developing a high-tech balloon that can be launched following natural disasters to provide temporary emergency communication access to law enforcement, FEMA personnel and first responders.
- California-based defense contractor American Metal Bearing is moving to Northwest Florida. The company’s new headquarters will be built on 11 acres in the Walton County Industrial Park near Freeport. American Metal manufactures propulsion bearings for the U.S. Navy and NATO allies. CEO Michael Litton says the company is outgrowing its current manufacturing plant location outside Los Angeles.
- The Santa Rosa County Commission approved a 350-unit apartment development at the defunct Moors Golf Club near Milton. The approval came after the developer, East Avalon, agreed to add setbacks and create a greenbelt barrier after residents initially opposed the project. More than 40 major single-family housing developments totaling 4,300 units are under construction or at some level of permit review, according to the recent data from Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality.
- Construction has begun on a 12-story hotel/condo tower on Pensacola Beach. Rich Chism, vice president of development and asset management with Innisfree Hotels, says the $60-million project includes renovation of the existing Hampton Inn, damaged by Hurricane Sally in 2020, and a heliport. The new tower, says Chism, will include 89 hotel rooms, 16 condos on the upper level and a 250-space garage. Construction is expected to get underway this fall and be completed in 2024.