By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS – Beginning March 21, residents will see Priority Waste collecting their waste and recycling as the contract begins between the company and city.
The five-year agreement was approved in December following a bid process. At the time, the City Council voted 5-2 with Councilmember Tom Wencel and then-Councilmember Dense Malinowski-Maxwell opposing because Priority Waste is not a union company.
A process to seek a new waste removal service started after complaints from residents due to delayed or missed collection by GFL Environmental. The GFL contract is set to end March 19.
Priority Waste was selected from four companies that submitted bids. Republic Services of Southeast Michigan, GFL Environmental and Waste Management of Michigan — the city’s previous company before GFL— were the other three companies to bid on the RFP.
“Based on their impressive list of available equipment, favorable references, prices, and excellent customer service orientation, Priority clearly stood out among all of the candidates,” Mayor Bill Bazzi said. “In addition, Priority was actually one of the services we contacted to provide some supplemental debris removal service during last year’s floods.
“They demonstrated some very impressive abilities during the crisis, which makes us even more confident with this decision. I fully expect Priority will provide our residents and businesses with the top-quality, personable service, which is exactly what they deserve.”
Operational changes are expected when Priority Waste begins including a handful of routes that will see some revisions, but the extent of the services will remain essentially the same.
There will be no need for residents and businesses to replace the trash and recycling bins they are currently using, as they are compatible with Priority’s equipment, the city said.
One of the most significant operational changes residents will experience, is their ability to contact Priority directly to report issues such as pickups that are inadvertently missed or a need for container repairs or replacement, which is being done to streamline the communications process, and improve the action time of requests.
An instructional flyer produced by Priority describing their services will be mailed to each residence and business in the city within the next few days.
“Priority’s overall capabilities are impressive, but particularly impressive is their strong customer service orientation and reputation for responsiveness,” Bazzi said. “I’m confident our residents and businesses will find Priority to be an excellent service provider for our community. We look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship with them.”
More information will be made available on the city’s website, Facebook page, Cable TV channel, YouTube channel and Instagram account.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)