By Mike Kruzman /

The City of South Lyon is negotiating potential terms for a contract extension with its waste hauler.

Green For Life Environmental, or GFL has proposed a 4 year extension to their current four year contract which expires on June 30th with the City. Director of Municipal Affairs for GFL, Sam Caramagno was before South Lyon City Council with that proposal. GFL is requesting a one-time increase of 4.5% to go into effect on July 1st, with the remaining three years to be limited at 2% max. Caramagno told Council that their staffing levels were hit hard by the pandemic and that it was difficult to attract and retain customers. To do so, they had to raise their rate of pay higher than normal multiple times to stay competitive. This led to some service hiccups in the spring, but Caragmagno said he believes the situation has now stabilized.

Mayor Pro-Tem Stephen Kennedy said every business went through some rough spots, and despite that rough stretch in the spring, he thinks GFL still has performed well. Kennedy said that he would caution against letting 4 or 5 months of trying times overshadow 3.5 years of good service. When there were problems, Kennedy said they were usually addressed and corrected within 24 hours.

To some on City Council the 4.5% increase felt a bit higher than they would like. Councilmembers Glenn Kivell and Maggie Kurtzweil liked a number closer to 4%,if possible. City Council also asked if GFL would consider extending yard waste pickup into the first two weeks of December. Caramagno said that was becoming a more popular practice in the region, with many leaves falling later in the year. Council also was interested in GFL extending a previous offer for recycling carts for new homeowners. Of the 2,000 carts originally offered, the City still has about 700 remaining.

City Council gave the City Manager direction to work with GFL on these requests, including the 4% increase, and bring back an agreement for approval, if the two sides can agree to terms.