150 jobs to be eliminated as Detroit privatizes trash collection

City to save more than $5 million

DETROIT (WXYZ) - If you live in Detroit, chances are the lid of your trash can says as much - but the city is no longer in the trash collection business.

That's now someone else's responsibility and, so far, that seems like a pretty good idea.

“I'm loving it already”, says Willie Vaughn.

Vaughn was caught off guard by the prompt service now offered by Rizzo Environmental services. The company is one of two contracted to collect trash in the city.

Rizzo covers southwest Detroit and the city’s east side. Advanced Disposal will cover the rest of the west side. Rizzo began picking up trash in the city May 5th, Advance Disposal will begin on June 2nd.  

“It surprised me this morning when I woke up that they're already hear before 8:30,” says Vaughn.

That's not meant as knock against city workers, but, Vaughan says, there have been days when his trash wasn't picked up until 8:30 at night.

On top of that, the wood Vaughan sat out by the curb was picked up as well and they'll be back to pick up more bulk items every two weeks - instead of every three months, which is how often the city was picking up bulk items.

While it may not seem logical, having to wait as long as three months to dispose of bulk items is, most likely, the reason behind at least some of the illegal dumping in the city.

Both companies contracted to pick up trash in the city have agreed to pick up bulk items every 2 weeks and they’ve even agreed to pick up items in front of abandoned homes and vacant lots.

When all was said and done, Detroit will have two companies doing the job that 190 Department of Public Works employees had been doing. About 150 jobs will eliminated, but that doesn't mean those people will be left without jobs.

Most were given jobs with the two contractors. Those who didn’t want to give up the time they’d invested with the city will be given other positions.

That will leave about 40 employees in the Department of Public Works who will focus on cleaning up illegal dump sites in the city.

So far, it seems like a win-win situation.

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