Trash a hot topic at township board meetings

FLINT TWP. — Trash has been a continuing topic of discussion at the last few meetings of the Flint Township Board of Trustees.

Residents have come to the podium during public comment time at the last three meetings to complain about neighbors creating an unsightly mess by not following township rules regarding trash pickup and recycling.

The trash talk started Sept.16 when Margaret Jones told the board that residents of townhouses at River Forest and River Birch drives are putting trash bags out days ahead of the Thursday morning pickup.

“Plastic bags do nothing more than invite the critters to come and have a feast and leave the mess for us,” she said. “The trash pickup people are not obligated to pick up the mess, so they pick up whatever is left in the bags and that’s it, and whatever the wind is unable to pick up and deliver to the rest of us remains there for days at a time. … Something must be done about that. If there’s already a code, please enforce it.”

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said the township has a contract with Emterra Environmental USA to provide trash and recycling pickup every Thursday. Trash should be set at the curb by 7 a.m. on Thursdays, and Miller said there is an ordinance stating trash is not to be put out earlier than 24 hours before pickup.

“You can put it out the night before,” she said. “You can’t have it out for a whole week. Nobody wants to see that. I know people put it out Sunday nights, but it’s not supposed to sit out there.”

Miller said the township has 9,800 homes that get picked up, not including the mobile home parks in the township.

“At 9,800 homes, that’s a lot of checking to do,” she said. “I can talk to enforcers to see if they notice anything that’s out early.”

Miller said information concerning trash, recycling and yard waste can be found on the city’s website and on Emterra’s website. According to the website, trash containers should not weigh more than 50 pounds. Materials not accepted in trash include tires, concrete, fencing, any contractor-generated materials, free liquids (paints, pesticides, etc.), car parts, appliances containing Freon, fluorescent bulbs (in excess of seven per household) and car batteries.

Recycling also is picked up on Thursdays and should be placed at the curb by 7 the blue recycling bins. The bins are available by calling the township hall. For a replacement bin, residents must bring their damaged bin back to the township. There is no need to sort recyclable items. Items accepted are newspapers, phone books, magazines and glossy newspaper inserts placed in brown paper bags or bundle and tied with string; clean corrugated cardboard, which must be bundled in 2-foot squares, not exceeding a thickness of 1 foot; plastics that should be rinsed clean with the cap removed; clean tin and aluminum cans, which can be flattened to conserve space in the bin; and clear brown and green empty glass that should be rinsed out.

Items not accepted in recycling include motor oil, anti-freeze or cooking oil containers; paper milk or juice cartons; wax-coated paperboard; expanded foam containers and packaging; compost food waste; propane tanks and paint cans; plastic bags/bubble wrap; batteries; medical waste/syringes/needles; flammable liquids; household cleaners; chemicals; wood items and concrete; paper coffee cups and lids; garden hose/ rubber/ electrical cords; and tires.

Compost and yard waste is picked up every Thursday from April through November. The last day for yard waste pickup this year will be Nov. 29, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Yard waste should be placed in biodegradable brown yard waste sacks or in 30-gallon plastic cans clearly marked with “Yard Waste” or “X” and placed facing the street. Miller said the township has stickers that can be put on the plastic cans, and these can be obtained at the township hall. Branches must be less than 2 inches in diameter, less than 4 feet in length and bundled and must not weigh more than 50 pounds. Items not accepted in yard waste are kitchen/food waste, tree stumps or trunks and yard waste in plastic bags.

Miller also pointed out that residents are allowed to put out two large items, such as a couch and a washer, each week for trash collection. Emterra asks that residents call the township hall and let them know to expect large items. She also said residents are allowed to use the landfill at 8355 Vienna Road in Montrose once a month for free, up to one truckload. The service is restricted to Emterra customers. Residents need to obtain a landfill pass at the township hall and must have the pass and a drivers license or state ID with matching address. Open trucks or trailers must be covered with a tarp, and loads cannot exceed 1,000 pounds. Sanitary household waste and waste from household demolition projects can be dumped. Items not allowed include yard waste, tanks, barrels, drums, liquids, hazardous waste, propane, batteries, tires, bulbs, items containing Freon, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.

For more information on trash, recycling and yard waste collection, call the township hall at 810-732-1350 or visit the township website at