- Rizzo Environmental Services' involvement in a federal corruption investigation may already be costing it business across Michigan. So far one township has rescinded a new contract and others are on the fence, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
- The Huron Township Board of Trustees had voted to award Rizzo a new contract over Waste Management one day before the news came out but has since decided to open it up for new bids. The Dearborn Heights City Council is set to vote on awarding Rizzo a contract this week — also over Waste Management — though the news has caused some concern.
- The Richmond Township Board of Trustees voted to award a new contract to Rizzo last week despite the investigation, with one member saying the company's "dark cloud" won't affect local operations and savings were also significant compared to Waste Management.
Rizzo has been active in the Michigan market for decades but in recent years it has become more competitive with larger companies such as Waste Management and Republic Services by offering lower prices. Questions have been raised about the company's business practices after allegations came out that it received a no-bid renewal of the Clinton Township contract due to a $70,000 bribe. The company has not been officially named or charged with any criminal wrongdoing and has said it will cooperate with authorities.
Multi-million dollar savings can make a big difference in the budgets of small municipalities or townships. The question is whether they'll have to spend more money due to potential service interruptions if any charges are eventually filed against Rizzo. The company was recently acquired by Toronto-based GFL Environmental Inc. and is expected to remain active in bidding for local contracts.
While the investigation hasn't directly been cited as a factor it seems to have played a role in hastening a resolution to Flint's multi-month contract dispute between elected officials over choosing Rizzo or Republic. The Flint City Council is expected to vote today to continue service with Republic by awarding it a one-year contract with the option to extend.