By Jessica Mathews /

Changes to the recycling portion of Genoa Township’s refuse collection contract are being discussed.

Most recently, the cardboard recycling station at the Township Hall had to be closed down due to the amount of trash and debris being tossed in and around it. The board met virtually Monday night and it was stated that the township has fielded around 30 to 40 emails regarding requests for increased recycling services. It was communicated that the township budget cycle is beginning so if there were going to be any changes made to the refuse collection contract, now is the appropriate time to do so.

Township Manager Mike Archinal said he requested numbers roughly two weeks ago from Advanced Disposal for the cost to move to every week recycling with 64-gallon curb carts. He told the board that part of the delays can be attributed to the company being acquired by Waste Management so there’s a little delay and they’re still waiting on pricing. It was stated that the acquisition contract though does not necessarily open up the township’s contract for renegotiation and existing contract would have to be modified - which the township is a party to until November 30, 2023. If the township does decide to modify the contract, it would cost more.

Board member Jim Mortenson questioned if there was any alternative to their existing provider. Supervisor Bill Rogers said there is starting to be a diminished number of providers that can handle this type of business and are reasonably close so opportunities are limited at best.
Archinal noted that when they bid the contract the last time, the two best respondents were Advanced Disposal and Lansing-based Granger. He said the township is located on the eastern boundary for the latter, which offers good service but was expensive due to the distance. Archinal told the board there is an “out” clause in the existing contract should the township become unhappy with service. Archinal said they’re not saying they’re unhappy but they have noticed few issues since the acquisition that have been a little unsettling – not the least of which was a card that was sent out to all residents without consulting with the township first. He said there have also been some changes to customer service, including a dedicated phone line that was at one time located in Northfield Township but is now in Wisconsin. Archinal said some is similar to what the township experienced 7-8 years ago when changing over to Duncan Disposal. He stated that optimism is a good thing though and hopefully they won’t have the kind of issues experienced then but if they do, there is an option.

More conversations are expected to take place about the refuse and recycling contract and potential modifications over the next several weeks.