Dear Crabby, Why is Rochester Hills Changing Our Trash Pick Up Service?

Dear Crabby,

I Like My Garbage and Recycling Company, Why is Rochester Hills Changing Our Trash Pick Up Service?

Sincerely, Stinky McCann

Dear Stinky,

If you like your garbage man, you can keep your garbage man … but you can’t. As it was in 2009 when Mayor Bryan Barnett and city council decided we’d all be better off with a single hauler system. Instead of five different companies with three trucks each – trash, recycling, and yard waste – totaling 15 trucks per week in most neighborhoods, Rochester Hills got one company to do it all. We had no choice, we got the company that the city picked. We still have three trucks, but only coming one day per week so you don’t hear all those trucks all week long, and the trash is only put out one day per week as well. The whole system works pretty good. The only downside is Republic Services – our current service provider – has such large trucks with those big arms on one side to pick up the bins that they have to go up, then down, each street twice. So, it’s like having six trucks all on one day. But other than that, no worries.

Anyhow, Republic is out and GFL is in. GFL stands for Green For Life, a Canadian company, and they’ll be taking over on July 31. We send Canada our business and we take their trash … something smells with this deal. But I’ll leave that controversy for some other hard news journalist.

Again, we don’t have a choice. Republic sold their contract to GFL and the city approved the change. The mayor says nothing with change except the color of the truck, which will be green, and bright florescent green that reminds me of the color of biochemical waste containers. Your recycle bank points will remain. The price will stay the same. Your pick up day will be the same. They’re switch over the curbside chip reader in your bin so your recycle points will continue on the same account … but guess what I found out about that system … it doesn’t matter how much you cram into your recycle bin – not really – the truck gets weighed after each route and the total points for weight is divided up from everyone on that route. So, even if your bin is empty, put it down every week to get your fair share of the divided points.

When I was a kid, I used to ride around with our trash man, on the side of the truck hanging on to a steel handle – remember those days – to help out. He said we could keep any of the trash for helping load the truck at each stop. I found some good things that way. But I got tired of doing his job, so I just started walking the street and picking through the trash – you can read about my adventures about that here: Dear Crabby, Is it bad to go picking through the trash?

We’ll have to deal with this change until 2019 when the contract is up for consideration. In the mean time, GFL says it will honor the Republic contract. Make sure you sign up for all the discounts: Annual Prepayment, save 5%; Automatic Payment Program, save 3%; and Senior Citizen Discount, save 5% – I get all three – you know me, I love a discount. They even have a Snow Bird program to save up to $30 if you travel south for part of the year.

So there you have it. You get the same no choice deal you’ve had but with biohazard green trucks instead of depressing blue. Enjoy.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby


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