UPDATE: First, It Was Flint’s Water. Now, It’s Their Trash

By Yessenia Funes Aug 01, 2016

Update: Aug. 2, 9:41 a.m. ET:

Flint, Michigan, Mayor Karen Weaver heard our calls: Trash pickup service will resume for the city today (Aug. 2).

Her office announced this yesterday (Aug. 1) via an online statement, which noted that this is only a temporary fix: Republic Services accepted an interim agreement that ends Aug. 12.

“I want to thank Republic Services for agreeing to resume trash collection in Flint while we work to resolve this matter,” said Weaver in the statement. “My main objective is to do what’s best for the citizens and the City of Flint. Members of city council and I may have different views on what that is, but residents should not be inconvenienced because of it.”

On Aug. 10, members of the Receivership Transition Advisory Board will meet to decide what company to go with permanently. This board, which reviews the city’s finances, includes Frederick Headen, Michael Finney, Michael Townsend and Joel Ferguson—most of whom the state appointed in either January or February 2016, when news broke of the lead water crisis.


Living in Flint, Michigan, means lead-tainted tap water—and, now, overflowing trash bins. Starting today, the city has suspended trash pickup due to a dispute between Mayor Karen Weaver and Flint City Council. The mayor’s office sent notice to the city’s predominantly Black residents on Saturday (July 30) that they shouldn’t put out their garbage for collection.

Local news site MLive reports that the city’s contract with the nationwide public company Republic Services expired on July 29 at 5 p.m. The mayor and city council disagree on whether to renew the current $19.5 million contract or sign a new, cheaper one with Rizzo Environmental Services, a private local company.

In court on July 29, both sides argued that the other doesn’t have the authority to make a decision unilaterally. Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah scheduled a second hearing for tomorrow (Aug. 2) to give attorneys time to answer questions.

The council voted 8-1 against the new contractor back on July 18 even though the new provider would cost the city $2 million less than their current one. Weaver vetoed their no vote, but the council overrode her decision.

“Council members said they questioned the company’s integrity including ties to Canada and former Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley’s role as Rizzo’s consultant,” reported MLive.

The services are supposed to return by the middle of the week, Weaver said in the notice she sent to residents on July 30.