Trash pickup delays continue in Detroit, city holding companies accountable

Posted at 9:53 PM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 23:32:42-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Smelly trash is piling up in some Detroit neighborhoods. Earlier this week, the city acknowledged the delays and asked customers for their patience.

The Department of Public Works informed residents that due to staffing issues with solid waste contractors — GFL Environmental and Waste Management — some households may have their trash and recycling containers collected one to two days late.

Michelle Pryor moved into her Northwest Detroit neighborhood in 1993. The lawns are kept, and folks take pride in where they live.

Her trash was supposed to be collected Monday, but when we spoke to her on Thursday, it was still there.

"Luckily, we live in a neighborhood where people care about their property and they're not letting animals turn the garbage over you know," Pryor said. "There were a couple of animals down there and another one over there earlier this week."

Pryor says trucks came by on Monday but only collected trash on one side of the street.

"I called Monday, and they said, oh they'll probably be back before the evening," Pryor said.

Pryor says Waste Management, which merged with Advanced Disposal, services her area.

She called them four times this week.

"I know everybody is having shortages because of COVID, but just tell the community you're not going to get a garbage pickup," Pryor said.

She is signed up for alerts from the city but after Monday, they gave her no updates on when trash pickup would resume.

Ron Brundidge, the director of DPW, says he's aware of the challenges, but that's not an excuse.

He's holding both companies accountable.

"You guys are under contract for another two years of a five-year contract, and if you can't quickly get service levels to a point that citizens deserve and require, you're putting those existing contracts at risk," Brundidge said.

About one hour after we spoke to Brudidge and shared Pryor's concerns, trucks came through and cleared every bin on the block.

"This is garbage. It should be picked up. There's nobody putting anything illegal out on the street. We have them in the proper containers sitting at the curb waiting for pickup, " Pryor said. "Monday is our regular day, we expect the garbage to be picked up."

Brundidge says recycling, bulk waste and yard waste is collected every other week.

"In any event that a resident chooses to put out an amount that greatly exceeds that two cubic yard capacity, our contractors are not required to pick it up," Brundidge said.

If you aren't sure about what trash will and won't be picked up, visit the city's website.

Those who are seeing major delays should reach out to DPW and if it starts piling up, 7 Action News wants to hear from you.