Harper Woods extends curbside recycling contract with Rizzo

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published June 29, 2015

HARPER WOODS — The city is joining the five Grosse Pointes in keeping Rizzo Environmental Services as the contractor for curbside recycling pickup and household hazardous waste drop-off.


Officials unanimously approved the extension through August 2018, which comes with a 2-cent-per-unit-per-month cost increase. The city has more than 5,700 residential units.


The current contract was set to expire this August. While the city has the option of this contract extension running through 2018, it does have out clauses each year in case the city chooses to make a change.


City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk said he was insistent on the termination clauses. He said he wanted to be able to address any complaints or issues.


City Councilwoman Vivian Sawicki said that customers are using larger curbside recycling bins in Grosse Pointe Woods through Rizzo.


“Several residents were asking about whether we could have the larger bins, as well,” she said. “I know it takes it out of the waste stream, so it’s beneficial in that regard.”


Skotarczyk said that he believes the price per unit for the city to purchase extra-large bins is about $150.


“I understand that Rizzo would have to use a special truck to accommodate (the bins),” he added.


He said he wasn’t sure what the full impact of that type of change would be to the city, so he would need to look it up.


He did say that residents are allowed to add clear bags next to their bins if they have extra items, and Rizzo is supposed to pick them up.


Councilwoman Cheryl Costantino said a Rizzo employee that she saw in her neighborhood stood out for his careful work. She said he was taking time to check bins to ensure that everything was collected.


“I just was impressed at how conscientious he would be,” she said.


Sawicki praised the residents for their willingness to commit to recycling.


“I was very proud of our community,” she said. “It was a few years ago, but we were named as one of the cities in Michigan that recycled the most.


“I encourage residents to do that — to continue using those recycling bins and to keep us up there,” she said.