A little over two months from now, on April 1st, you’ll notice different colored garbage trucks making the rounds in the City of Battle Creek, and green dumpsters will turn to blue.    That’s when the City of Battle Creek starts its new deal with a new solid waste hauler in 2021, Republic Services, and that’s no April Fool!   The change only affects the city of Battle Creek residents and not other neighboring municipalities.

City of Battle Creek Environmental and Storm Service Manager Patty Hoch-Melluish was a guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins with information about the transition.

“Waste Management has been Battle Creek’s residential hauler since the 1980s”, said Hoch-Melluish.  “The contract is for five years, with possible renewals.”

Hoch-Melluish says that qualified solid waste service providers were invited to submit proposals to the City for the requested services.  She said four or five companies expressed an interest, but only two, Waste Management and Republic Services provided formal proposals.   She says they evaluated the proposals by totaling a score based on several questions, including the cost to the City.  City staff recommended the contractor with the highest score to the City Commission, and the commission approved the contract with Republic, to start on April 1, 2021.

Republic Services offered a 5-year plan that would cost the city $6.1 million less than Waste Management's bid of nearly $23 million.  Waste Management's expiring five-year contract was for just under $16 million.

Republic Services-YouTube
Republic Services-YouTube

“Residential service will remain much the same, “said Hoch-Melluish. “There will continue to be weekly, unlimited garbage collection, backdoor collection options, weekly unlimited bulk waste collection, yard waste collection from April to December, one spring and one fall clean-up collection, and live Christmas tree collection.“

Curbside single-stream recycling collection will still be available to residents every other week, but residents will be required to opt-in to the recycling program with Republic. This means you must complete a web form, or call Republic Services at 1-269-216-8008 to request a recycling cart. The webform is on the City’s website.

There will no extra charge to opt-in to the program. The opt-in recycling program is intended to decrease the level of contamination in the City’s recycling program by providing recycling carts only to those residents who want to recycle, and are committed to recycling correctly.

Republic Services and the City are encouraging any resident that would like to continue to recycle curbside, to opt-in as soon as possible, so Republic Services will have plenty of time to order and deliver the requested number of recycling carts. While everyone is encouraged to recycle, the City realizes that not all residents are interested in participating. For those residents choosing not to opt-in to recycle at this time, there will be opportunities later.

Some other information regarding the City’s solid waste services:

  • Your trash and recycling collection days may change as Republic Services evaluates the City’s collection routes to optimize service. You will be notified in advance of any collection day changes, so please hold your calls until you have been contacted.
  • Your solid waste collection with Waste Management will continue until March 31, 2021. Waste Management will collect recycling carts and any garbage and yard waste rental carts in March. We will share more information on that process as we know it.
  • You will continue to pay your trash/recycling/yard waste bill as part of your utility bill. Cart rentals for garbage and yard waste will be managed and billed through the contracted waste hauler, as it is currently.
  • Republic Services has two recycling drop-off facilities available to City of Battle Creek residents. There is one facility in Marshall and one in Kalamazoo. There will be a $3.00 per visit charge for residents that have not opted-in to the City’s curbside recycling program.
  • If you have questions about any Waste Management invoices you receive between now and March 31, 2021, please contact Waste Management’s Customer Service number at (866) 797-9018.
  • For information on Republic Services’ garbage and yard waste cart rental beginning April 1, 2021, please contact Republic Services’ Customer Service number at 888-249-5112.

Hoch-Melluish said there will be more information forthcoming as the City has more of the details to share. You can also visit these sites for additional information.

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