- Republic Services has filed a complaint against Flint, MI for the city's alleged failure to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, as reported by MLive.
- According to court documents, Republic filed a request on June 29 for "disclosure of all documents, emails, correspondence, evaluations, notes, and tabulations involved" in the city's waste contracting process. After Flint allegedly failed to respond within the required timeframe, the company filed a complaint against the city on Aug. 11.
- In an email to Republic, City Attorney Stacy Erwin Oakes blamed the delay on "staffing changes" and said the request "did not reach the appropriate individuals. Please know we are working diligently to respond to your request at this time and I appreciate your patience."
Republic has been picking up waste and recycling in Flint for years and is continuing to do so under a temporary extension until the city's new contract can be worked out. While the company is favored by a majority of city council members, Mayor Karen Weaver has been advocating for Rizzo Environmental Services which came in with a bid that was $2 million lower.
The move to submit a FOIA request is rare for this type of situation, but the Flint contract fight has delivered plenty of surprises this summer. Highlights include a council member suing the city, the mayor suspending collections for a day and a state legislator calling for an investigation into the whole situation. It's currently unclear how Republic will proceed with its legal action against the city. The company did not respond to requests for comment from the Flint Journal or Waste Dive.
Per the most recent extension, city officials were given 90 days to resolve the contract once and for all. They are scheduled to appear in Genesee County Circuit Court on Oct. 31 to finalize a decision.