Priority Waste takes over as township’s solid waste hauler

New trash service begins July 1

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 20, 2023

 Shutterstock image

Shutterstock image

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Township residents will soon see Priority Waste’s trucks at their curbs on trash day.

The Township’s Board of Trustees recently approved Priority Waste as Bloomfield Township’s new solid waste hauler, replacing Green For Life — which has been the township’s hauler since 2016.

Department of Public Works Director Noah Mehalski said the township has contracted for solid waste disposal since 1991 using a number of haulers — including Waste Management, Rizzo, and most recently, GFL, who assumed the townships’ contract after purchasing Rizzo.

Prior to making the decision to go out for bid, Mehalski said, there were “extensive negotiations” with GFL over a four-month period.

Township Supervisor Dani Walsh said GFL chose not to send any executives or decision-makers from Canada to any of the meetings, which she called “disrespectful and inefficient.”

“It was a surprise to never have a single decision-maker from GFL come to the drawing table,” she said.

GFL, she noted, also increased its pricing and chose not to offer all services requested by the residents — including multiple cart size options, dedicated customer service representatives, two waste drop-off days (electronic waste and hazardous waste), and bundle discounts. GFL submitted two bids. One was $37.8 million — including a 15.5% increase in cost the first year, with 4% increases each year after. The other was $38.2 million — a 34% increase the first year, with rates held steady each year after.

GFL could not be reached for comment by press time.

After looking over the bids for an eight-year contract submitted by four separate waste haulers — including GFL — township officials highlighted the technological investments made in Priority Waste’s fleets, their inclusion of special events like a household hazardous waste day, their quality of services, and their innovative approach to customer service as a few reasons for the switch.

Priority Waste, according to Walsh, offered more services, cost $5 million less, is a Michigan company, and sent its top leadership to the negotiations with township officials.

Priority Waste’s contract will cost the township a total of $33.9 million over the course of the eight years, with the contract ending June 30, 2031. Township officials said the types of service levels offered under the new contract will remain the same, including the option to select door side service at an increased rate, an annual payment discount, and a senior discount option.

Collection days for all residents will also remain the same; however, pickup times may change, so residents are asked to have their trash out by 7 a.m. — especially during the initial transition phase.

Priority’s contract with the township begins July 1.

“In our launch, it’s very important that the residents understand that we guarantee that day of service, not the time. Your time may change, and it’s all based on the efficiency of the routing, which will guarantee everybody gets picked up,” Todd Stamper, the CEO of Priority Waste, said in a township video dedicated to the switch in waste haulers.