Flint outsources trash pick up to Republic Services - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint outsources trash pick up to Republic Services

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(02/06/13) - Flint's Emergency Financial Manager has reached an agreement to outsource its trash collection service.

Republic Services will begin picking up waste in Flint on March 4. Routes stay the same, and so do neighborhood trash days. Recycling service will also start.

The big difference now is 24 people are out of a job.

"Any way this union could have come to an agreement to save the jobs, we tried everything, but in the end, in didn't matter even if we were low bidders," said Larry Roehrig of AFSCME Local 1600 and 1799.

Roehrig represents the two dozen trash collection employees in Flint. They negotiated a severance package for them that includes a payout for all their vacation and sick time.

Their healthcare continues for a few months if they're not hired by Republic Services. ABC12 News was told Republic will give Flint workers first preference when the hiring process begins.

There's a job fair this Saturday morning at their facility on Torrey Road for City of Flint employees affected by the new contract. The job fair is not open to the general public.

At Wednesday's press briefing with EFM Ed Kurtz, he said simply, the city could not continue to incur this cost.

Kurtz adds privatizing the service will save the city a $1 million a year. But that doesn't mean the fees will be cheaper. "It's a $1 million a year less than what the city can provide the service for itself. However this does not mean there will be a reduction to the fee for the customer because our general fund has been subsidizing trash pick up for years."

"Republic services is excited about the opportunity to service the city of Flint. This is our core business to provide waste collection, recycling collection and waste disposal for our communities. We are expecting a seamless transition," said Brent Goodsell, of Republic Services.

Also part of the deal, Republic has agreed to buy the city's trash collection fleet for $75,000 per truck - - that's about 20 trucks.

Kurtz said he'd like to pay down the city's deficit with the money generated from the truck sale.

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