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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Current City of Bloomfield Hills waste hauling companies. Proposed Regulations may change things.

The  date of the City's last published list of waste haulers who service  our City was May 13th 2013 when  it appeared on the City Website.  Six companies are listed. When this publication made phone calls to  them Wednesday.  five of the six said they did indeed service the City of Bloomfield Hills. Those five are 
2)Howard's Disposal, 
3)Nichols Disposal,
5) Waste Management.

 Having called  all  five  (in an approximate twenty minute time period) yesterday, we can vouch for the phone numbers being correct. Often however the contact person listed may not be available. In most cases the person who answered the phone could either answer our  questions or connect us  to the person that could. 

At the   February 11th City Commission meeting, City Manager Cravens said that his office frequently  received  calls requesting information about  waste haulers. He said he  provided phone numbers only  to have the recipient call back  and say that some of the company  provided no longer served the City. That should have told City Manager Cravens something. Apparently it did not. 

Trash service in the City of  Bloomfield Hills is volatile. That's  because the City is no plum. Trash is trash and our City of 3500  has significantly less trash and therefore less profit potential  than  nearby communities with  a combined population of  close to  200,000 

 Rizzo listed above does not currently serve the City of Bloomfield Hills. When I called. a nice lady told me they did,. When I politely indicated that we were not the same as Bloomfield Township, she offered to go and "check,"  She returning  with "Your right we don't do Bloomfield Hills City. We just do the Township (40,000 residents) and West Bloomfield (60,000). 

 Fair enough.  In business the focus should be on servicing the 100,000 current customers as opposed to picking an additional 3500. 

Furthermore all customers are not always equal. Some are more fussy and require more service and maintenance which has to be factored into the money making equation.

The five companies currently serving the City have been over the years  stable favorites however.

Of the five companies that do service our City Howard's Disposal and Nichols' Disposal  are smaller family  companies with unique  personal serviced.  Howard's actually commutes from Armada Michigan. Both have many loyal customers.

Veolia  is a world wide company with interests in transportation and environmental services. For a long time Veolia served the city with  only commercial waste hauling. Now it serves the Hunt Club 
area residents (on Kinglsey Trail, Whitehall, Randall Lane etc) Veolia  is not interested in expanding elsewhere in the City unless it is economically feasible.The Hunt Club  area happens to an  area of the City with  small lots and boasts the largest single dwelling density in the City.

Republic is a national Company with many special services including Dumpsters. If your needs are sufficient enough a small dumpster can replace trash cans.

 Waste Management  claims in Super Bowl  advertising to the the largest waste remover in the world. The ad if one recalls correctly depicting WM  waste hauling in outer space.

At the last sales meeting Commissioner McClure ventured  that if  the proposed new regulations caused two of the five city haulers to stop serving our city, residents would still have a  choice of three. 

 That is not quite. right. 

If the two smallest local  companies (Howard's and Nichols) were to leave the scene  the City  would have but two choices Republic and Waste Management. Veolia is already spoken for. The departure of the smaller haulers  would increase the size and number of waste hauler trucks making the rounds.

All  five current haulers offer  trash hauling, in season yard waste disposal, and recycling. The local companies pick up with a single medium sized trash truck. Recycles and yard waste are handled  with a smaller vehicles like a van.  The three bigger companies, (Veolia, Republic, and Waste Management) dispatch  large trucks for each of the three pick-ups. 

The bottom line ? Lose two companies and the choices available to most residents is not three companies but two.

That is one away from alarm bells going off.  One trash hauler is no choice. Just as the City regulates waste haulers by ordinance revisions,  so can it regulate you. Your only recourse to no choice is to move or cast your vote in the next election which won't be until  November 2015.

As  it stands now in the City of Bloomfield Hills, you are free to make your own arrangements with a waste hauler of your own choosing. You pay the hauler directly. If you don't want you don't even need to hire a waste hauler. Choice is the name of the game.

If the City is involved via a single City-wide  waste hauler the game changes. In one City( if we read correctly) you have to pay whether you  use the City selected  trash service or not. There are even restrictions concerning what you can do with trash on your own property ( such as  taking it off your property). At least we think that is what we are reading in various municipal ordinances.  We have placed calls to confirm our interpretations and if they are correct we will provide more details in a later post.

Prior to three weeks ago when the non resident and not elected City Clerk and City Manager decided revise the rules, waste hauling in the City of Bloomfield Hills functioned properly.  
We regret the nuisance of having to answer queries from residents   on the subject of waste hauling. For  whatever the reason however City Hall  was unable to establish a reasonably current list or a "matrix" as they prefer to call it of waste hauling options available to residents.

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