UPDATE: After public pushback, Mayor Weaver has reversed course and announced that normal trash collection services will resume in Flint. Republic Services is collecting the city's waste on an interim basis today until August 12. The Receivership Transition Advisory Board (RTAB) is scheduled to meet on Aug. 10 and is expected to decide which company will receive a long-term contract at that time.
"I want to thank Republic Services for agreeing to resume trash collection in Flint while we work to resolve this matter," said Mayor Weaver in a statement. "My main objective is to do what’s best for the citizens and the City of Flint. Members of city council and I may have different views on what that is, but residents should not be inconvenienced because of it."
It is not immediately clear what effect this will have on Councilman Scott Kincaid's lawsuit against Weaver and her office.
- Mayor Karen Weaver of Flint, MI issued a statement on Aug. 1 telling residents to not set their trash out for collection until further notice.
- After the city's contract with Republic Services expired in June, it was temporarily extended through the end of July. The City Council voted to renew with Republic for three more years, but Weaver vetoed this resolution. In a special meeting on July 25, the council voted 8-1 to override Weaver's veto.
- Councilman Scott Kincaid subsequently filed an injunction against Weaver and the city. At a hearing in Genesee County Circuit Court on July 29, Judge Joseph Farah wasn't satisfied with the answers provided and scheduled a second hearing.
This issue stems from ongoing questions about Weaver's preferred hauler—Rizzo Environmental Services—including their relationship with a former mayor. Rizzo's $17.4 million bid on the five-year contract was the lowest, but council members cited the last-minute nature of the bid and other factors as reasons for voting against it. While city officials have since accused the council members of acting against Flint's best interests, Judge Farah was equally critical of Weaver's actions.
"While the obnoxious stench of political intrigue permeates from city hall an equally insalubrious aroma comes from our neighborhoods where our garage will not be picked," he said at the hearing.
Republic's original bid was $19.5 million for five years. That figure has since been revised to $11.5 million for three years. After Weaver declined Republic's offer to continue collection on a temporary basis, the company issued a statement.
"...We respect the Mayor's decision against offering service," said the statement. "We truly regret any inconvenience that these circumstances might cause residents, and look forward to resuming waste collection as soon as possible."