Dumping privileges being sorted out with new garbage collector

FLINT TWP. — Residents are being advised to call before hauling a load out to the Richfield dump, after township garbage service, now under new ownership, hit a snag regarding free dumping privileges.

At its Nov. 19 meeting, township board members briefly discussed a contractual issue with Emterra Environmental USA which recently purchased Richfield Management LLC, after the latter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid- September. Richfield had served as the township’s waste collector since January 2011 and Emterra took over earlier this month.

The township’s contract with Richfield allowed township residents free dumping privileges at the landfill once a month.

But township officials began getting complaints from residents who drove out to the dump only to be turned away charged a dumping fee since Emterra took over.

Township supervisor Karyn Miller said the dumping issue is being resolved with Emterra but until then residents should call the township offices to avoid a fruitless trip out to the dump.

“We are just hashing out the details because they need to continue the services we contracted for,’’ Miller said, adding the township attorney is working on it.

Clerk Kim Courts added that she wanted the dumping system to remain the way it was under Richfield instead of requiring residents to have to come to the township first for a dumping voucher.

Dan Garman, the Richfield representative, has assured township officials that all services will remain unchanged under the new owners.

After soliciting bids for garbage collection services, township officials by a majority vote in October 2010 chose Richfield – the low bidder at about $4.6 million – of three bids.

“The cheapest isn’t always the best,” said Trustee George Menoutes last week. He was one of three trustees who voted against awarding the contract to Richfield. Trustee Frank Kasle and former treasurer Sandra Wright also voted no.

Prior to the bankruptcy filing, Richfield had won favorable approval from the entire board for its recycling program and other services including lowered collection fees.

The contract with Richfield expires Dec. 31, 2014.

Miller said Emterra would be sending letters to township residents explaining it services. But notices sent out last week do not contain information about dumping privileges.

Emterra identifies itself as a familyowned business with 35 years of experience. It specializes in recovering waste resources to be made into new products.

The notice states that trash pick-up and recycling dates will remain the same in Flint Township but may change for residents of Vienna, Atlas, Grand Blanc and Mt. Morris townships.

For now, Richfield marked trucks will continue pick ups up will eventually be changed over to Emterra trucks, the notice stated.

The notice also assures that the Rewards of Recycling program will continue unchanged.

Miller said residents will be updated about dumping privileges when more information becomes available.

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