Tug of war over city's trash collection breaks out - WNEM TV 5

Tug of war over city's trash collection breaks out

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The city of Flint sent a termination notice to its trash service.

Republic Services of Flint was issued a 90 day contract extension on Aug. 11 by a judge.

The judge ruled Republic would continue waste collection for the people of Flint for 90 days. On Sept. 22 Republic said the city of Flint sent the company a termination notice.

"This notice came without any explanation and is not permissible because the contract requires a court order from Judge Farah in order for it to be terminated," Republic said in a press release.

The company said it will continue to provide trash service for Flint residents.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and the city council can’t seem to agree on which company should be handling waste disposal for the city. Weaver prefers Ruzzi over Republic Services of Flint, claiming the city would save millions by making the switch.

She even vetoed the city council’s majority decision of an 8-1 vote for the city to retain its current primary trash collector in August.

That move motivated City Councilman Scott Kincaid to take Weaver to court.

"We remain optimistic that we will soon enter into a long-term contract with the city to provide waste and recycling collection services to the people of Flint," Republic said.

On Sept. 23 Weaver issued a statement that said a different company will start collecting the city's waste on Sept. 26.

"After months of consideration, negotiation and litigation, I am ready to move forward with a temporary appointment of the lowest responsible bidder to begin collecting waste in Flint and the lowest responsible bidder is Rizzo Environmental Services. Crews from Rizzo will begin working in our community collecting trash effective Monday, September 26, 2016," Weaver said.

Rizzo announced on Sept. 23 is has agreed to become Flint's waste service provider starting Sept. 26.

“The residents of Flint will experience no interruption in service when we start on Monday,” said Chuck Rizzo, C.E.O. of RES. “In fact, Flint residents are about to get a major upgrade in removal of bulky items from their curb. We are about to give residents better service for less money.”

The fiasco over contracts has left residents confused.

"It's a headache for me to put my trash out and my recyclables and not know exactly what my future is going to be with this trash," said Fred Anthony, resident.

Republic and Rizzo are vying for the right to pick up the city's garbage.

City council members held a press release on Sept. 23 to express their disappointment in the city's decision.

"The city council does not support the letter that went out to Republic yesterday saying that their service is no longer needed," City Council Member Kerry Nelson said.

Weaver supports the move to Rizzo. She said the five year contract with the company represents a $2 million savings compared to the next highest builder.

However, Councilman Scott Kinkaide disagrees with the length of that contract and the company chosen to receive it.

"All eight of us support a three year contract with Republic because they are undoubtedly the lowest responsible bidder," Kincaid said.

After the press conference Councilman Eric Mays, a supporter for Rizzo, held his own session. He said the gathering was a violation of the open meeting act.

"What I saw here today with six people or so standing here discussing this business was illegal," Mays said.

Mays said he thinks both companies will show up Monday morning.

Republic said the city can't terminate its contract with them and will continue their service. On the other hand, Weaver announced Rizzo will begin its service on Monday.

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