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'It's not acceptable.' Trash pick-up delays, canceled service plaguing Livingston County residents

Posted at 6:26 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 18:26:31-04

MARION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — More neighborhoods are in a heap of trash trouble and the problem just keeps growing. Residents have been left scrambling after their trash company suddenly stopped service.

We first told you about the problem in Dexter and Putnam township last week. Now, we've learned residents in Marion Township are in the thick of it as well.

The notice that went out to residents informing them of their canceled subscription said trash pick was supposed to end on September 10th. It said customers needed a new service provider by September 13th.

A spokesperson says he understands why that confused customers and said he was sending a truck out to the Howell area around 2:30. The residents we spoke to said they never came by.

"GFL needs to get on top of it you know, do their job," said Jeff Duke, who lives in Marion Township.

Duke's stinky day's old trash is an eyesore on his otherwise charming Marion Township property. As of Friday, he's no longer a GFL customer, but like many others, he was promised one last day of service.

"It's messy. We live right by this highway so like is it going to end up on the street you know," said Duke. "We don't know."

Tanya Drotos says she never got the notice and hasn't even been able to pay her GFL for the past month. Even though trash pick-up is supposed to happen every week---Drotos says it's usually every two weeks.

She tried calling the company and says she was put on hold for six hours.

"We have no idea what to do at this point I don't want to have to pay for two trash companies, so we are kind of at a standstill no notice or anything," said Drotos who also lives in Marion Township.

GFL blames a national labor shortage and lack of truck parts for the cancellations and delays.

Marion Township Clerk, Tammy Beal says over the past months her office has gotten an overwhelming number of calls.

"I feel their pain because you cannot leave trash on the side of the road for three or four weeks at a time with this 90-degree heat," said Beal. "It's just not acceptable."

People are so fed they feel like they have no choice and they are dumping trash on rural roads, leaving Marion Township to clean up the mess.

"Other people see that and think it's great to throw garbage on the side of the road, which it's not," said Beal. "Someone has to clean it up."

Thousands of residents are looking for new trash pick-up providers and Alchin's is one of the few in the area. They currently service 14,000 customers.

Vice President of Operations Cory Alchin says they've had to turn 2,000 people away and now have a 400 person waiting list.​

"We anticipate 8,000 to 10,000 accounts, I don't know for sure, but that's probably how many houses are going to go without waste removal services," said Alchin. "Overnight it became a public health crisis it really did, we had people calling and saying it's been five weeks without trash service, what am I going to do."

Duke can understand not having enough bodies to get the job done, but what he doesn't accept is the lack of communication.

"They don't call us back, they don't email us back. It's piling up so," said Duke.

Alchin's says they are still taking on new customers in certain areas but the slots are limited.

Waste Management and The Garbage Man are two other companies we know of that service the county.