FLINT TWP. — Recyclers should be made aware that pizza boxes and loose plastic bags are on the don’t list.
Grease on pizza boxes, even when not visible, ruins everything else in the recycling bins, said Dan Garman, spokesperson for Richfield Equities, which took over the township’s garbage collection and started the recycling program about 14 months ago. He presented an update on the first year of service at the township board meeting last week.
Garbage collectors also won’t take plastic bags unless they are tied together in bulk, he said. If they are not anchored by weight, they fly out of the truck and cause litter problems, which defeats the purpose.
But overall, RE’s contract with the township, started Jan. 1, 2011, has gone well, he said.
The contract launched first-time recycling program, weekly yard waste collection and dumping privileges and slightly lowered annual collection fees among other perks.
The township did not have a curbside recycling program prior to contracting with RE.
Now between 3955 and 4498 households are putting out recycling bins on a weekly basis, Garman reported. That’s a 45 percent participation rate and one of the best in the county, he said.
Additionally, 2901 members have signed up for the affiliated Rewards for Recycling program which has distributed more than 6000 coupons to participating households and awarded prizes of an iPod and gift cards to two township residents as promotional incentives.
Going from a biweekly yard waste pick up to weekly pickups improved curbside collections. Prior to bidding for the job, RE’s research showed that many areas previously were putting out huge amounts of compost leaves on pickup days. Weekly pickups have greatly reduced the bag count to a few a week, he said.
Also, about 109 township residents have taken advantage of free dumping privileges, he said.
Service complaint rates are well below industry norms, he said. Of about 1,711,082 service events in 14 months. RE received about 301 address complaints that generally were resolved by the next day. That’s about one complaint for every 1,000 stops, Garman said.
RE also contributed to the township’s development of the recreational Genesee Valley Trail last year by donating dog waste clean-up units and bags. Also, Rewards for Recycling donated waste and recycling containers that RE will be picking up when the trail opens April 1.
RE also started a recycling program at the Senior Citizen Center on Graham Road.
Additionally, RE helped with four major cleanups at foreclosed properties at no charge to the township and also helped with cleanup at the condemned Brookstone Apartments, charging only labor costs with free disposal.
More information about acceptable recyclables and signing up for the rewards program is provided on RE’s website at www.richfieldmanagement.com or by calling 810-653-2325.
“Anything we can do to help residents and employees of Flint Township make it cleaner and greener, let us know,’’ Garman said.
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller added that since contracting with RE, the annual garbage collection assessment has dropped from $117 to $111 per household, which works out to about $2.13 a week for the services.