Refuse authority contract amendment allows use of Detroit transfer station

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 30, 2019

GROSSE POINTE PARK — A contract amendment enables the member communities of the Grosse Pointes-Clinton Refuse Disposal Authority to take their garbage to a closer transfer station, if needed — but at a price.

Following closed-door negotiations during a July 9 GPCRDA Board meeting in Grosse Pointe Park, the board voted unanimously in favor of a contract amendment allowing it to use a newly reopened Waste Management transfer station in downtown Detroit.

Currently, the member communities — the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods — pay about $16 per ton to Waste Management for trash disposal, GPCRDA Board member Terry Brennan said.

“It’s a very, very good rate,” Brennan said of the per-ton amount.

For that rate, the various trash haulers for the six cities — some of which do this in-house and some of which contract it out — take refuse to the Pine Tree Acres landfill in Lenox Township, which is in the area of 29 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue, said GPCRDA Board Chair Brett Smith.

But in the event of an emergency, they would now have the option to take trash to the Detroit transfer station — at a cost of $38 per ton.

“It’s just in the event of unforeseen circumstances, which are very rare,” Brennan said. He said this would be an option “in the event of an emergency only.”

Smith concurred.

“This gives us the opportunity to use that facility if we choose,” Smith said of the contract amendment.

For the GPCRDA member communities, it’s a considerably longer drive to Lenox Township in northern Macomb County than it is to downtown Detroit.

Smith said Waste Management’s downtown transfer station “has been closed for a number of years” but was recently reopened. The transfer station is just north of Detroit Renewable Power, with which the GPCRDA had a waste disposal contract for several years, until DRP closed earlier this year, after DRP ceased operations at its solid waste incinerator around March. Waste Management agreed to assume the contract the GPCRDA had with DRP at the same rate, at least for now; it wasn’t known at press time if those rates might be changing in the future.