Flint, MI–The trash contractor that has worked for the city for more than eight years will soon step aside.

Republic Services, which is currently picking up Flint’s trash on an extended contract, did not submit a bid on July 12 when the City opened the bid process for waste management services.

According to a statement from Republic Services, the company has “respectfully declined to submit a bid for a new service contract in the City of Flint” due to its business and employee needs.

“We’re grateful to the city for the opportunity to partner with them for more than eight years. Our commitment to the City and its residents is evident by our willingness to continue running service after our contract expired, and we are appreciative of the 90-day contract extension, which was granted at the request of city staff to assist their procurement process. Republic Services is ready to engage the city’s next hauler as they begin the transition process, and we thank the city and its residents for the opportunity to serve them.”

On July 6, The Flint City Council approved a 90-day trash contract extension with Republic, giving the city time to rebid for a new trash contract after improperly taking bids earlier this year. Flint residents have not seen an interruption in the garbage collection schedule as Republic had continued to pick up trash in “good faith” without a contract, Metrel Demps, general manager for Republic Services, said prior to the city council’s approval of the contract extension. 

Three companies put forth new contracts for trash collection July 12: Waste Management, Priority Waste Management, and Green For Life Environmental Inc. The winning bidder will contract with Flint for three years, with an opportunity for renewal for up to two years. The next company will begin collecting trash between Aug. 10 and Sept. 30.

This isn’t the first time that Flint City Council has worked with GFL Environmental Inc. on a waste management contract. 

GFL Environmental Inc, acquired Rizzo Environmental Services, a former leading trash services company in Michigan. In 2016 it was known to have lower prices than competitors like Republic Services and Waste Management. However, Rizzo faced controversy when accused of giving bribes to politicians to win local contracts. In 2016, the Flint City Council approved a new $3.74 million contract with Republic Services, choosing the company over Rizzo.

Since then, GFL has been trying to rebrand more positively as “Greener For Life.”

Waste Management’s total proposed annual cost is $6,689,475 for the first year, $5,969,070 for the second year, and $6,174,900 for the third year.

Priority Waste Management’s total annual cost for the first year is $6,380,730, for the second year is $6,574,210, and for the third year is $6,771,807.

GFL Environmental Inc’s total annual cost for the first year is $4,659,991, for the second year is $4,775,256, and for the third year is $5,580,737.

GFL Environmental Inc was the only company that put forth a contract for compost services, with a total annual cost of $2,317.646.

After Flint’s city administration has made a selection, the bids and contracts will be available online here.

The selection by the administration for the new contract with a trash vendor will be made on July 28, and then sent to the city council for approval.

Khue Tran (she/her) is a journalist hailing from Pflugerville, TX. She is currently a student at Yale University and has written for multiple publications on campus, in addition to having words in the...

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