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Notice dated June 6, 2018

Residents have noticed that trash, recycling, and yard waste pickups have sometimes not been completed until the evening hours in the last few weeks, and in rare cases, not until the next day.

The City understands the inconvenience and believes these conditions are temporary and are due to extenuating circumstances.

The City is working closely with our contractor, GFL, to make sure the pickup is as efficient as possible. Discussions also are ongoing to develop successful strategies moving forward.

The City appreciates residents’ patience and understanding.

As always, residents are encouraged to call the Sanitation Division at 313-943-2433 with any concerns about their weekly collection.  

Some factors impacting the pickups:

  • GFL has collected 25% more trash and bulk than the previous contractor did last year, resulting in more time spent at landfills and slowing down the collection rate;
  • the impact of the weather, which is relatively unprecedented in recent history and has led to an explosion in the amount of compost collected, which is 13% more than last year;
  • new trucks purchased for Dearborn collections are suffering mechanical failures and parts are on back order.

Further information:

  • GFL collects much more material than the city’s previous contractor, which limited items.
    • The city’s previous limit was five items outside the cart, but many, many homes exceeded that amount and would have to pay extra or keep dragging material to and from the curb.
    • In January through May, GFL collected 25% more trash and bulk compared to the same period in 2017.
    • The increased amount of material means they have to take their trucks to be emptied more frequently, which slows them down because more time is spent at the landfills/recycling centers. The city views this as a positive change in service for our residents but acknowledges the tradeoff is slowing down collection more than we would like.
  • May 2018 was the wettest since 2004 and the hottest since 1998. That has caused an explosive growth in grass, weeds, shrubs, and all general yard waste.
    • The wind storms also caused more trees and branches, much of which is taken by GFL as opposed to the previous contractor.
    • GFL has collected 13% more compost than was collected in the same time frame in 2017. In May, GFL collected almost a quarter of Dearborn’s typical annual collection.
  • GFL purchased 16 new trucks for use within Dearborn but a few are having recurring mechanical failures because apparently all the bells and whistles on the new ones are leading to some unintended consequences on the mechanics of the truck.
  • Staffing has also been a contributing issue because there is a regional shortage of certified drivers and all the waste companies are feeling the effects. There is a general shortage of people wanting to do this type of work as well.