New waste container rollout to begin Oct. 16

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 5, 2018

 Delivery of Warren’s new bins for trash and recyclables is expected to begin Oct. 16. Bins for yard waste will be available in the spring.

Delivery of Warren’s new bins for trash and recyclables is expected to begin Oct. 16. Bins for yard waste will be available in the spring.

Photo taken from

WARREN — Get ready.

Warren’s new waste collection bins for garbage and recyclable materials will be delivered beginning Oct. 16. Residents who compost will be eligible to receive a third bin for yard waste in the springtime.

The program, announced this summer, has raised many questions among residents interested in how it will affect their weekly refuse collection. Some said they were pleased by the change. Others were more concerned and have sought more information.

Deputy Public Service Director Gus Ghanam was summoned to the next meeting of the Warren City Council, set for Oct. 9, after the Warren Weekly went to press, to take questions from council members and residents about what they can expect from the city’s switch to large, standardized plastic receptacles.

“Every other place, including Center Line, is doing them,” Ghanam told the Warren Weekly Oct. 3.

Ghanam clarified several points raised as questions from readers after a previous story ran in the Warren Weekly in mid September:

• Every single-family home or detached condo will receive a bin for trash collection. The first bin is free and will be assigned to the address. Bins stay with the property if you move. Additional bins are available for purchase at a cost of about $50. The occasional disposal of bulk items will continue to be collected by the city.

• Residents wishing to recycle will be assigned an additional bin for those materials and will be asked to roll it to the curb on trash day when it is full. The first bin is free and will be delivered along with the trash bin. The city’s smaller, red recycle bins can be used for a short time but will eventually no longer be collected.

• Yard waste bins will not be available until the spring. The first bin will be delivered free of charge for residents interested in placing yard waste at the curb. The bins are larger and hold more waste than will fit in a single paper yard waste bag. Residents who typically dispose of more waste than will fit in a bin will be able to purchase another one.

• The bins are taller than many common refuse cans but have roughly the same footprint. Residents should store bins in accordance with city ordinance, which currently requires them to be in the garage or behind the house. Potential changes allowing bins to be stored on the side of the home have been discussed.

• Ghanam said the change is being done now to comply with the terms of a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality grant. Conversion to the new system must be completed by fall 2019.

• The new bins come with a 10-year warranty.

• Waste collection days will remain the same.

• Residents of attached condos and townhouses will not receive new bins, and their garbage collection will continue as before.

The program also involves the purchase of equipment to outfit the city’s existing fleet of trucks to handle the bins until new trucks are delivered next year.

Ghanam said previously that the program will cost the city roughly $1.2 million annually over the life of the seven-year lease with its vendor, SSI Schaefer. However, officials said Waren is expected to realize a total of $2.3 million in savings over the life of the agreement thanks to reduced costs for truck maintenance, regular and overtime labor, and insurance.

The city will also sell its existing fleet once the new trucks arrive to partially offset the cost of the new vehicles.  

“Let’s face it. It’s a change,” Warren City Council President Cecil St. Pierre said in September. “Whenever you try to propose change, it’s going to affect people. Garbage is something that happens every week in the city of Warren. We’ve done an excellent job, and some people say why change it.

“We’re trying to make it better. We’re trying to make it cleaner, and save money, and help our workers as well. I think we need to educate a little bit more. This is a big deal, and it’s coming up,” St. Pierre said.

Additional questions about the program can be directed to the Sanitation Department at (586) 775-1400.