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Priority Waste continues to play catch up with trash collection across metro Detroit

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 10, 2024

“Are they going to pick it up this Friday or not… 2 weeks late or is going to go another week?” said Mary Glowe of Melvindale.

Melvindale resident Mary Glowe is directing those questions to the company Priority Waste.

Glowe says her trash was supposed to be picked up this past Saturday yet on Wednesday, it still sits in front of her house.

“There is a huge rat problem over here for one thing,” said Glowe. “A lot of people have multiple people living in their house so they have a lot of garbage so when they don’t have any room in the can, the lids aren’t closed or they throw their bags outside the can where all the animals can get into it.”

On July 1st, Priority Waste took over residential accounts from GFL Environmental.

RELATED STORY: Priority Waste officially takes control of GFL residential accounts

Priority Waste officially takes control of GFL residential accounts

They are now handling trash services for dozens of communities in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, and Genesee counties.

“I think they’re going to be worse than GFL is what I think, I think they bit off more than they can chew, they bought all those contracts out and they can’t handle it, they obviously can’t handle it.”

RELATED STORY: 'There's trash all over.' GFL customers dealing with trash collection back-ups amid transfer

'There's trash all over.' GFL customers dealing with trash collection back-ups amid transfer

Since Priority Waste took over those accounts, 7 News Detroit has received many complaints from residents who say they’ve had delays with their trash pickup.

I wanted to know what was causing the trash pickup delays with Priority Waste, so I came to their headquarters in Clinton Township to get some answers.

“We took over all of the contracts from GFL plus 70,000 subscription customers on that Monday and part of that acquisition was 500 vehicles that we purchased,” said Allen. “What we found was hundreds of those vehicles were not operable to be put on the road.”

Matt Allen is with Priority Waste. He says they have been working hard to get the hundreds of broken vehicles repaired so they can catch up on trash collection.

“The more fleet vehicles we get on the road, the more servicing we can conduct, so that was a significant kink in the very beginning,” said Allen.

“Do you think Priority Waste is up for the challenge to get all of the done?” I asked.

“Absolutely, so are all of the municipalities we talked to, they have faith that what we were doing in 49 communities prior to that is going to happen to the 73 communities that we’re acquiring,” said Allen.

Meanwhile, for Mary Glowe, she hopes Priority Waste sticks to their word.

“You bought the contracts, do your job. If you couldn’t handle then you shouldn’t have bought all the contracts,” said Glowe.