Flint's New Problem Literally Stinks

Trash pick-up has stopped as the mayor, city council battle over a contract
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2016 7:12 AM CDT
Flint's New Problem Literally Stinks
Mayor Karen Weaver is shown in this file photo.   (Mark Felix /The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

Flint residents' water is trashed, and now their trash is temporarily, well, trashed, too. The beleaguered city learned on Saturday that trash pick-up would cease effective Monday. "Until a new agreement is officially in place, we ask the residents not set their trash out at the curb to prevent animals from disturbing it and make the situation worse," reads a statement from Mayor Karen Weaver's office. At the root of the issue: a contract. Weaver recommended that pick-up provider Republic Services be replaced with Rizzo Environmental Services, whose five-year, $17.5 million bid was $2 million lower than Republic's, reports MLive.

The city council voted against her selection in June and again voted 8-1 against it on July 18, citing concerns over Rizzo's connections to Canada and former Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley, who consults for Rizzo. Weaver vetoed their decision to stick with Republic; the council overrode the veto. The next move will fall to a judge: Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah will hold the next hearing on the debacle Tuesday at 10am, reports MLive. City Council President Kerry Nelson says the council "will ask the court to order the mayor to reinstate garbage pick-up," reports Michigan Radio. Weaver says she's looking for resolution "by the middle of the week." Farah's colorful quote: "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." (More Flint, Michigan stories.)

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