Rochester Hills extends contract with GFL, SOCRRA, Recyclebank

City officials: 5-year contract offers the same services at reduced rates

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published February 7, 2024

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Residents of Rochester Hills will notice a savings on their trash, recycling and yard waste services bill this spring.

The Rochester Hills City Council unanimously approved five-year contract extensions Jan. 22 with GFL Environmental USA, the Southeast Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority and Recyclebank.

The move, city officials said, keeps the same services residents have come to expect, but at a cheaper price point for the first four years.

“It’s pretty rare in today’s economic climate to see rates for services actually going down,” Mayor Bryan Barnett said in a statement. “I have to give a lot of credit to our finance and purchasing team for its work negotiating these prices, while understanding that we could not take a step back in terms of service quality for our residents. These three organizations have been strong partners with the city for many years, and we are excited to keep the highest level of service for our residents while allowing them to keep a little bit more of their money in their pockets.”

The new contract and pricing start April 1, reducing the quarterly rate from the current $61.79 per residence to $57.90 for 2024-25 — a 6.3% decrease in year one of the contract.

“We came to the final decision that things were going well and that we should continue with our program, so everything remains the same, no changes in services or anything like that … and the good part of that is we’re going to do so at a lesser cost,” said Lisa Cummings, the city’s procurement manager.

In the second year of the contract, the quarterly rate will increase to $59.67 per residence in 2025-26, and then to $61.51 in 2026-27. In year four of the contract, residents will see an increase over what they paid in 2023-24 — with a quarterly rate of $63.40 per residence in 2027-28. Residents will pay a quarterly rate of $65.36 per residence in 2028-29, the final year of the contract.

“We don’t get to our current rate until year four. … That’s really a 1.2% change in over a five-year period. I don’t think any of us have seen that low of a rate increase,” Cummings said. “I don’t even think that we can go to a grocery store and see that.”

“I’m paying twice as much for eggs as I did last year, so I think this is a great deal for the citizens of Rochester Hills,” Council President Ryan Deel said.

The negotiation process, Barnett explained, was not easy.

“It has taken a long time. … They were tough partners, tough negotiators, but good negotiators in the sense that the contract keeps all of our services the same. We didn’t have to cut any services to save any money,” he said.

Some highlights of the contract extension include: the continuation of weekly curbside trash and recycling removal; weekly bulk pickup of larger items; yard waste pickup starting the last week in March through the second full week of December; Recycling Rewards through RecycleBank, with new local incentives, discounts available to veterans and senior citizens; a snowbird discount of up to $30 annually; and hazardous waste disposal through SOCRRA for $10 per car and free use of the SOCRRA recycling center — including document shredding.

“This is basically a win-win for Rochester Hills. We get to continue our best-in-class recycling program and our best-in-class services at lower costs,” said Cummings.

The rate schedule works out to a savings of $4.20 over the course of five years.

Councilman David Blair said it’s important to note that the city inspects the trash collection vehicles annually.

“Every year our maintenance garage will inspect the trash collection vehicles, and if you’ve seen a commercial hauler with oil spraying out of it as it lifts a dumpster, this (inspection) is a great move for the environment, because that goes right into storm sewers and pollutes our waterways, so I love that (offering),” said Blair.

For more information about trash, recycling and yard waste services in the city of Rochester Hills, visit