Trash bins reducing rats in Center Line, eyed in Warren

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 13, 2018

 Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said rodent control costs are down about $8,000, or roughly 25 percent, in the eight months since the city rolled out its 96-gallon bins for collecting residential trash.

Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said rodent control costs are down about $8,000, or roughly 25 percent, in the eight months since the city rolled out its 96-gallon bins for collecting residential trash.

Photo by Brian Louwers

CENTER LINE/WARREN — Those tasked with managing your residential garbage pickup say there are many benefits to using the uniform, 96-gallon trash bins. On that list is better rodent control.

Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said a recent report presented to the City Council by Landscape Services Inc., the city’s rodent control contractor, pointed to a 33 percent decline in rat baiting.  

“Our cart management program and strict enforcement of property maintenance has been working effectively,” Champine said. “That’s a pretty good sign for our city.”

Center Line inked a four-year extension on its trash collection agreement with GFL Environmental in January 2017 that included implementation of the cart-management program. The burgundy containers, assigned to each address and emblazoned with the city’s logo, were rolled out last year with the goal of reducing rodent-control costs — and actual rodents — and just making the city look cleaner.

Over the eight months they’ve been in use thus far, Champine said, rat baiting costs are down about $8,000, or roughly 25 percent.

“That’s significant,” Champine said. “People are now able to manage their garbage much better with this container. It really has been a beneficial investment.”

Warren’s 54,000 residential waste collection service users will likely see bins rolled out for the collection of garbage, compost and recyclable materials sometime later this year.

“We’re going to apply for a grant from the DEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality),” said Gus Ghanam, Warren’s deputy public service director. “We’re going in that direction.”

Ghanam said use of the uniform bins is cleaner, safer and easier. He said Warren, which still uses its own crews to collect refuse, would need to outfit its fleet to accommodate collection with the larger bins, which would be assigned to homes at no additional cost.

Center Line users will pay just under $20 per year over a five-year period for the bins, assessed at a bimonthly rate increase of $2.30 per home.

Commercial garbage collection in both Warren and Center Line is handled by private companies. Collection enforcement falls under the purview of property maintenance entities in the respective cities.

Champine said that ensuring compliance from commercial businesses is an equally important part of fighting rodents and blight.

“Commercial is really just about strict enforcement, making sure the commercial businesses are maintaining closed dumpsters,” Champine said. “It’s a combination of the residential cart-management program and property maintenance enforcement at all properties — residential and commercial — and it’s paid off.