Council approves waste disposal contract with Emterra



BURTON — After years with the same waste hauler, the city council voted June 1 to switch to a different service at a savings of about $8,000 a year.

The council accepted the low bid for Emterra Environmental to take over as the city’s new waste disposal service. They will replace Waste Management, who has served Burton residents for many years.

The vote was 4-3 in favor of Emterra, with Council President Steve Heffner, Councilwoman Tina Conley and Councilman Dennis O’Keefe voting against the new contract.

The council weighed the benefits of each service and the types of services officer, specifically whether to contract for carted or non-carted services. Carted services refer to the type of service where each homeowner receives a 96-gallon cart and the truck is able to pick it up with a side-lift.

The council opted to go with noncarted service through Emterra, which contracts with many of the surrounding Genesee County communities.

The council considered bids from five waste haulers for a 5-year-contract for carted or uncarted services.

“With carted services, it’s a double-edged sword no matter how you look at it,” said Mayor Duane Haskins. “I do believe the cart service will take some adjusting and getting used to. With carted services I do believe it is a cleaner look and it’s a manageable look.”

Councilman Danny Wells said he wasn’t so concerned as to whether the city went to carted service or stayed with uncarted. His concern was switching to a different service after Waste Management had provided quality service to the community for many years.

“Waste Management has always been great at coming back and picking (big items) up,” he said. “I don’t see that really on the other bids. They work a little bit harder. I appreciate Emterra, that’s a hard price to beat, but Waste Management has come through for us over the years. I want to make sure garbage is picked up on time and that they pick everything up. We have a long history with Waste Management – people like Waste Management.”

While Emterra did not say they would send a truck to pick up big items such as refrigerators and furniture’s, Haskins said the company made assurances it will do that and has done that in other communities it serves.

Emterra was the lowest bidder for non-carted service starting out at $12.92 per month, per household. The rate increases to $13.17 the second year, $13.44 the third. $13.84 the fourth and $14.26 the fifth for a total monthly increase of $1.34 over five years.

Waste Management did not bid on non-carted services because it is phasing out traditional service and going strictly to carted. Haskins said this was due to on-the-job injuries that have plagued the Waste Management workforce.

Carted services with Waste Management would have cost $14.50 per household a month the first year and would have increased by a total of $3.12 per household monthly over the 5-year-contract.

In the end the council opted to go with Emterra with a contract that is effective July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2025.