The upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 16, 2023, will not cause any delays in trash and recycling services provided to the 34 communities served by the Mid Michigan Waste Authority. Residents should prepare and set out materials on their regularly scheduled collection day.
Due to anticipated inclement weather MMWA would like to remind our residents that safety is always MMWA’s and WM’s top priority. While the weather forecast calls for high winds and large snow accumulation WM trucks plan attempting service on Friday, December 23rd. If WM trucks encounter areas that are not safe to travel, they will be unable to collect your materials until your next service day.
A few friendly reminders:
- In extremely inclement weather, consider holding your trash or recyclables until the next week if you can.
- Avoid using white bags in snowy weather. If your driver can’t see your trash, he can’t collect it.
- Do not place bags, bins, or cans in icy areas or on top of or behind snow mounds.
2022 has been a busy year here at Mid Michigan Waste Authority (MMWA) as we started planning for your curbside services starting in 2023 and beyond!
What have we been doing?
MMWA released an RFP (Request for Proposals) on January 10th. Why did we do this? We did this because all of our current solid waste contracts are set to expire on December 31, 2022. That means the contracts for the hauler that actually picks up your trash, recycling and yard waste*, the contract with the landfill where the trash is disposed, the contracts with the recyclables transloader (moving the recycling from Saginaw to the Materials Recovery Facility or MRF) and processor and the contract with the yard waste composter all come to a close at the end of the month. The RFP process was necessary for MMWA to receive proposals from interested and qualified vendors.
Currently, the solid waste industry is highly concentrated between a few very large companies like Waste Management, now going by WM, Republic Service and GFL Environmental, that do business throughout the US and across the globe along with a few smaller regional companies. Competition can be limited because starting a new solid waste business requires a lot of start up capital. Also, solid waste contracts tend to be long term usually five to ten years with options to extend written in which further impacts competition.
On the February 7th due date, MMWA received proposals from Emterra Environmental USA, GFL Environmental Inc., Priority Waste, and Waste Management (WM).
As part of the RFP review process, between February and September MMWA’s Executive Committee (more on MMWA’s structure later) and an even smaller group from within the Executive Committee met frequently. Through a series of vendor presentations and interviews and Executive Committee meetings, the Executive Committee eventually recommended to MMWA’s Board of Trustees consideration of two proposals, one from Priority Waste and one from WM.
On September 27, 2022, MMWA’s Board of Trustees approved a five-year solid waste contract with Priority Waste and a ten-year solid waste contract with WM. Each member community had the option to choose between these two companies and select the services their residents will receive.
What is an Authority
You may be wondering, what is MMWA? I thought WM did my trash? The State of Michigan has laws that allow for the creation of an Authority. Essentially, an Authority is a legal term for an organization made up of multiple municipalities that provides for services like sewers, storm water management and solid waste handling.
MMWA was established in 1991 by a group of public works directors who were interested in offering or improving the curbside solid waste collection services in their communities. Over the years MMWA has grown from the twelve original member communities to 31 Cities, Townships and Village in Saginaw County and three member communities in Gratiot County representing approximately 69,000 households. (A household is defined as a single family home up to a fourplex.) A benefit of membership in the Authority is the larger the population represented, the more bargaining power the Authority has which results in better prices for a wider array of services than each individual municipality might receive negotiating on its own. Another benefit is that resident questions and concerns are handled by the MMWA staff. Residents don’t have to navigate the customer service systems of a large corporation. Instead, MMWA residents can talk to a real person familiar with their community and knowledgeable about their specific services.
Each member community appoints a Trustee and an Alternate to MMWA’s Board of Trustees for a four year term. Within the Board of Trustees there is a nine person Executive Committee voted on each year. Each member community provides weekly trash collection and can add recycling collection, either weekly or every other week, and seasonal yard waste collection.
If your community selected Priority Waste
On January 1, 2023, some member communities will see new trucks and faces providing their residential curbside trash, recycling, and yard waste* services. These communities selected Priority Waste: Albee Township, Birch Run Township, Blumfield Township, Brant Township, City of Frankenmuth, Frankenmuth Township, Jonesfield Township, Marion Township, Village of Merrill, Richland Township, and the City of Saginaw.
Priority Waste is the largest independent waste hauler in southeastern Michigan. In addition to serving over 140,000 municipal residential accounts, Priority Waste provides subscription residential services, front-load dumpster services, and roll-off dumpster services to thousands of Michigan homes and businesses. Priority Waste was founded in 2018 in Clinton Township and continues to aggressively expand its operations.
Residents should continue to use their own containers. This means trash bags up to 55 gallons in size or cans (rigid plastic containers with handles) between 20-35 gallons in size. City of Frankenmuth residents must use trash bags only. For recycling residents should use a can (rigid plastic container with handles) up to 45 gallons in size labeled with a Recyclables Only sticker or the18-gallon bin some communities used to provide. Residents with yard waste service should continue to use either the brown Kraft yard waste bags or cans (rigid plastic containers with handles) 20 – 35 gallons in size labeled with Yard Waste stickers. Residents can call MMWA at (989)-781-9555 for stickers. All containers and contents should weight less that 50 pounds.
If your community selected WM (formerly Waste Management)
The following communities have chosen to continue with WM for the next ten years: Bethany Township, Birch Run Village, Brady Township, Breckenridge Village, Bridgeport Township, Buena Vista Township, Carrollton Township, Chapin Township, Chesaning Township, Fremont Township, James Township, Kochville Township, Lakefield Township, Maple Grove Township, Saginaw Township, St. Charles Village, St. Charles Township, Spaulding Township, Swan Creek Township, Thomas Township, Tittabawassee Township, Wheeler Township, and Zilwaukee City. Residents in these communities will continue to see the familiar WM green trucks.
For the first few months of 2023, nothing about your curbside services will change. However, starting in late spring, these communities will begin transitioning from manual service to cart service. Each household will have two (2) 96-gallon carts delivered at no cost to the resident; one for trash and one for your recyclables. Once your carts arrive you can begin using them on the next service day.
Carts have two wheels for easy maneuvering and a lid to keep recyclables and trash from becoming litter. The transition to carts is also going to make it easier for residents to recycle by providing more space to recycle more – a true win for residents.
As 2023 unfolds there will be much more information provided to residents regarding cart delivery. In the meantime, you can check your community’s page on MMWA’s website for our initial FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).
For best results residents should have all properly prepared materials at the curb no later than 7:00 am. Remember, you have a service day not a collection time, routes run until finished. For any service issues always call MMWA at (989) 781-9555 within one business day of your service day.
*For those communities selecting seasonal yard waste service.
A friendly reminder to our MMWA member community residents. Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday, November 24th, if your trash is normally collected on Thursday, you should have your properly prepared materials at the curb no later than 7 a.m. on Friday. If your trash is normally collected on Friday, have your properly prepared materials at the curb no later than 7 a.m. on Saturday.
The City of Saginaw’s yard waste collection service has been extended through Friday, December 2, 2022. Thomas Townships yard waste collection service has been extended to Friday, December 2nd.
For MMWA’s other member communities with seasonal yard waste collection service, yard waste collection will end on that community’s last regular pick up day in November.
The Mid Michigan Waste Authority will kick off their 8th annual Holiday Light Recycling Drive on America Recycles Day, November 15, 2022, and run through January 15, 2023. Recycle your broken, old, or out of style holiday string lights this season and put some sparkle back into your holiday!
Residents can drop off their lights throughout Saginaw County at the following locations: Bridgeport Twp Govt Center, The CAN Council office in the City of Saginaw, Carrollton Township DPW, Frankenmuth City Hall, Gardner-White Furniture, James Township Hall, Merrill Village Office, Mid Michigan Waste Authority Office, Richland Township Office, Saginaw City Public Works, Saginaw Township DPS Bldg., Spaulding Township Office, St. Charles District Library, Village of St. Charles Office, Thomas Township Public Safety Bldg., Zilwaukee City Office plus one location in Gratiot County located at the Wheeler Township Office. A collection bin will be located at Hayes Park during the Freeland Light Show from December 1 to January 1.
Over the seven years of the popular project, nearly six tons of unwanted holiday lights were collected, keeping thousands of strings of lights out of the landfill. When deposited in a landfill, it takes between 100 and 1,000 years for holiday lights to decompose, but through the recycling drive old lights will find new life. All sizes, styles and colors of indoor and outdoor string lights can be donated. Only string lights – not other lighted holiday decorations – can be accepted.
MMWA again has joined forces with Gary Shepard, organizer of the beloved Freeland Light Show, which runs through January 1 at Hayes Park. Visitors to the show may drop off lights at the collection bin located in the park.
GM Saginaw Metal Casting Operations has teamed up with MMWA this year and will serve as a host drop off site for their employees.
The lights will be processed by Rifkin Scrap Metal and Iron, a local company that will send the constituent materials to a processor. The refined materials will then move on to manufacturers to be used in new products. Rifkin is providing a rebate for the lights, with all proceeds going to the CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) Council.
Residents should not place holiday lights in their recycling bins or cans at home, as they are not an item accepted through the MMWA curbside recycling program.
Getting rid of old holiday lights is also a great opportunity to make the switch to LED lights, which last longer, and are more energy efficient and durable.
The Columbus Day holiday on Monday, October 10, will not cause any delays in trash, recycling, and yard waste services provided to the 34 communities served by the Mid Michigan Waste Authority. Residents should prepare and set out materials on their regularly scheduled collection day.
The upcoming Labor Day holiday does impact solid waste collection services provided to the 34 Mid Michigan Waste Authority (MMWA) member communities. There will be no trash, recycling, or yard waste collection provided on Monday, September 5, 2022. With the holiday falling on a weekday, collection services will be delayed one day for every community the week of Labor Day. Residents should prepare and set out materials one day later than they normally do during the holiday week.