- Michigan's Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph Farah has signed a restraining order preventing Flint's Mayor Karen Weaver from using her preferred hauler, Rizzo Environmental Services, for at least 10 days. Republic Services will continue to collect the city's waste as usual in the meantime.
- This decision was prompted by a request from Councilman Scott Kincaid and came after both companies attempted to collect the city's waste simultaneously on Monday.
- Farah's order also requires Weaver's administration and council members to resolve the contract dispute in his chambers this week. Seven of the eight council members support awarding a new contract to Republic.
This marks the second time collections have been affected by the contract dispute and is the latest surprise development in a multi-month battle that has been going on since the beginning of the summer. Aside from ongoing questions about which company is the "lowest responsible bidder," the main point of contention is whether Republic's temporary contract still stands.
Weaver's office sent a letter on Sept. 23 terminating the agreement, but Councilman Kincaid and others have questioned whether they had the authority to do so. A pending decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals is expected to potentially clarify this situation. In the meantime, Republic will continue collections with the hope of ultimately being awarded the new contract.
"We are proud to serve the residents of Flint. We are dedicated to providing exceptional service in Flint during this interim period," said Russ Knocke, vice president of communications and public affairs with Republic Services, said in a statement on Sept. 26. "As the lowest responsible bidder for the waste and recycling collections contract, we remain optimistic that we will soon enter into a long-term contract with the City to provide waste and recycling collection services to the people of Flint for years to come."
While a resolution seems imminent, these negotiations have proven far more complicated than expected and more surprises could be in store.