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Posted: 07/09/14

Wash Twp board chooses
new single waste hauler

by JERRY FRAYEMAN
Observer Special Writer
      Washington Township residents are getting a new trash pick up provider in the fall, one that comes at a lower price while offering a wider range of services.
       Rizzo Environmental Services was awarded the township's single waste hauler contract at a special meeting of the Washington Township Board of Trustees, held June 30.
       Rizzo was selected from a trio of finalists that included Waste Management and Republic Services, the incumbent. Republic's contract with the township expires Oct. 1.
       Clerk Kathy Bosheers, who oversaw the evaluation process, said the goal of the new contract was to "obtain more quality services at lower cost" for the township's approximately 5,100 trash customers.
       On that point, the process was a success. Some township residents will see up to 22 percent savings under the new contract.
       Currently, township residents pay $45.56 quarterly for trash and yard waste pickup. Residents who participate in curbside recycling pay $56.63 quarterly for all three services.
       Under the Rizzo contract, residents who pay quarterly will be charged $43.39 and $50.51, respectively, for similar services.
       Residents who make a one-time annual payment under the Rizzo contract will enjoy even further savings. Trash and yard waste costs drop to an equivalent of $39.68 per quarter, while full-service costs are $46.30 quarterly equivalent in the single-payment plan.
       Senior citizens qualify for an additional one-dollar savings under all of the Rizzo plans. All prices are guaranteed for the length of the eight-year contract.
       Under the new terms, residents will also be able to choose a trash-only option, something not presently available. "That was one of our goals in this RFP - to provide a menu of services residents could choose from," Bosheers says.
       The trash-only cost is $35.88 if paid quarterly and $32.89 equivalent if paid annually.
       One outcome of the new contract is that more residents sign up for curbside recycling. Presently, 44 percent of township residents recycle. "We think the recycling number will increase (under the new contract) since the cost will be lower," Bosheers says.
       In making the decision to change waste haulers, the township board cited customer service as a major factor.
       Secretary Linda Verellen, who sat on the bid selection committee along with Bosheers and Supervisor Dan O'Leary, cited feedback from citizens that indicated residents weren't entirely pleased with Republic.
       "The township has listened," Verellen said. "We are trying to act on your concerns about cost and performance."
       "Our biggest concern, after the year we had, is service," O'Leary said, adding his office fielded multiple calls from residents upset about missed trash pickup and having to contact Republic multiple times for follow up.
       Bosheers said the bid selection committee's decision was 60 percent weighted on performance and 40 percent weighted on price.
       Other factors in Rizzo's favor cited by the committee: the relative newness of its vehicle fleet; that it can provide additional services, such as household hazardous waste pickup, at no additional cost; and that its service center is located relatively close, in Sterling Heights.
       Per a mandate from the township, Rizzo will not impose a fuel surcharge on customers. Nor will residents be required to place a separate phone call for bulk item pickups, such as furniture.
       For residents, curbside pickup under the new contract will remain on the same day as it is now and on the same alternating-week basis.
       Residents will continue using 96-gallon bins. Those who participate in recycling will be provided a cart.
       Bosheers said that, as the October 1 changeover date approaches, residents will receive information notifying them of steps needed to transition to Rizzo.
       Rizzo Environmental Services is a Sterling Heights-based commercial and municipal trash hauler. The company services many local communities, including Rochester, Shelby Township and Chesterfield Township, as well as the City of Detroit.
       For more information, visit www.rizzoservices.com.


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