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Flint, MI– “It’s no change to the traditional type of service. It’s just now being done with a bright yellow truck.”
That’s what Dan Venet, the Director of Municipal Relations for Priority Waste LLC, told the Flint City Council during a meeting on Sept. 27.
Priority Waste, Flint’s new waste service provider, will begin trash, recycling, and yard waste pickup for residents on Oct. 1.
During the council meeting, Venet gave a presentation about the kind of waste collection services residents could expect. The service day schedule, he said, will remain the same as before.
Pick up will take place Monday through Friday. You can view the city’s trash pick up map to find your service day. Waste, compost, and recycling is picked up on the same day, and compost collection takes place from April 1 through Nov. 30.
Priority Waste trucks will be out collecting waste from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Venet said that the time residents’ trash gets collected may change as the company works to optimize their routes.
“If you were a 7 a.m. customer and got accustomed to that, we may be coming at 3 p.m.,” he said. “I don’t want anybody to remove their materials, or think that they were missed because we haven’t been there at the normal timeframe.”
Venet said residents should leave their materials out by the curb until 7 p.m. If they still haven’t been picked up by then, residents can call Priority Waste directly at (586) 228-1200 after 8 a.m. the next day to report a missed pick-up.
If your service falls on or after a holiday, services will move to the following business day. Holidays that affect the schedule are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Eves of these holidays are not included, Venet said. If a holiday falls on a weekend, services will not be affected.
Any containers of up to 96 gallons can be used for waste or recycling, but labels are needed on the cans. Venet said stickers that label each container clearly are acceptable. Residents can also use the blue recycling bins they already have.
Compost materials should be placed in paper bags or an open container with a maximum capacity of 32 gallons, and weighing less than 50 pounds.
For information about what can and cannot go in each container, you can read their brochure here.
Venet said Priority Waste will also be assisting the city in combating blight.
“We want to be a very successful partner in returning Flint to its former glory,” he said. “The blight that we’ve heard multiple times of being the issue. We’d love to come on a call, you know, in the next month, and hear that blight has significantly gotten better. And we’re working towards a permanent solution and that’s the ultimate goal for our company.”
Venet said if Priority Waste employees come across garbage in an empty lot on their routes, they would pick it up, as well as report it to the Blight Department and the waste service director.
“We want to help with the illegal dumping that happens. We want to help eliminate it as much as we can,” he said. “So, when we see something like that, we will be reporting it through the proper channels and letting them know so that they can have extra eyes on that area … to hopefully eliminate it.”
The city council approved entering a three-year contract with Priority Waste on Sept. 7, with a vote of 5-4. The new contract is for waste collection services through Sept. 30, 2024, in an amount not to exceed $19,726,747.20.
The council was divided largely due to the administration’s handling of the waste collection service contract bids. The council is conducting an ongoing investigation into the first bid process that was allegedly done incorrectly according to the city’s charter.
“Obviously the recent award, we’re very appreciative of everybody. We understand it’s not a very easy decision,” Venet said regarding the approval of the contract. “So, to those of you who voted against the resolution, we hope that in the service, we will turn you into raving fans of the Priority Waste program. The ones that did vote for us, thank you, and we hope to keep you proud.”