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A judge may decide who will pick up trash in Flint

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Back in 2013, Flint's emergency manager outsourced the city's trash pickup.

Update: 5:15 pm Monday, August 1st:

On Monday, city officials reached an interim agreement with Republic to resume trash pickup, starting August 2. The arrangement will remain in place until August 12. Officials say trash collection will be delayed by one day for the rest of this week; it should be back on schedule by the start of next week.

A meeting of the Receivership Transition Advisory Board (RTAB) is scheduled for August 10th to decide who will perform trash pickups permanently.

Sunday July 31st:

There will be no trash pick-up in Flint Monday. It may take a judge to get it restarted.

Flint’s trash won’t be picked up because of a conflict between the mayor and city council.

Mayor Karen Weaver wanted to give the contract to a trash hauler with the lowest bid, Rizzo Environmental Services. But the city council had questions about Rizzo’s ties to former Mayor Woodrow Stanley and a Canadian company.  

Instead, the city council opted for the city’s current trash hauler, Republic, which submitted a bid that was $2 million higher.

The mayor vetoed the council vote.  The council overrode the mayor’s veto. The mayor canceled trash pick-up until further notice.

"We hope to have a new agreement in place that will allow crews to resume trash collection by the middle of the week," Weaver said in a written statement issued over the weekend. "We realize this is an inconvenience and we're working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, we appreciate and thank the citizens of Flint for their cooperation." 

At a hearing Friday, a judge said there's an "obnoxious stench of political intrigue" in the trash controversy.

All sides will be back in court on Tuesday. 

“In order to protect the residents of Flint, the City Council will ask the court to order the mayor to reinstate garbage pick-up throughout the city pending the outcome of the lawsuit,” according to a statement released by City Council President Kerry Nelson on Saturday.

In the meantime, Flint residents, who are still unable to safely drink unfiltered tap water, must now hang on to their garbage.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.