Board Journal
GFL Update
Posted on Jul 6th, 2020

The Tuesday trash, recycling, bulk item and yard waste pickup last week by GFL appeared to occur with relatively few problems. We pointed out some misses to the drivers and they responded quickly. Given that we started the process of engaging GFL five weeks ago with the expectation that we might not have service until July 28, last Tuesday’s pickup was a welcome relief to the volunteers who oversaw the process. Some information of general interest follows.
  • Recycle container exchange: Several owners inquired about trading their 65 gal recycle container for a smaller 18 gal open bin. To that end, GFL will arrange a batch exchange for recycle bin in about three weeks for those owners. More on the exchange later in this message.
  • Use of non-GFL bins: Several owners inquired about using their own non-GFL bins or just leaving bags at the curb and also about returning their containers if they are able to use their own bins. GFL will pick up trash and recycling in non-GFL bins (but not WM bins) and will retrieve any bins owners wish to return as part of the batch exchange mentioned above. More on this exchange later in this message.
  • Trash container exchange: A few owners inquired about exchanging the 96 gal trash bin for a smaller wheeled bin. This is not possible as part of the above-mentioned exchange, or in the immediate future as far as we know, although owners can explore the possibility with GFL directly after the “transition” period.
Case for using GFL 95 gal waste containers: While owner provided containers are OK, GFL obviously prefers that residents use the provided containers. GFL notes that the supplied containers are mated to their trucks and provide the following benefits:
  • Drivers see bins clearly, reducing the potential for a missed pick- up.
  • Drivers can empty the bins mechanically without needing to bend and lift, reducing the potential for injury. In addition, the wheeled containers will make it easier for drivers to reposition containers that are in areas that are too tight to maneuver the truck.
  • The lidded containers help keep animals out and waste in so it isn’t scattered.
  • Damaged containers are quickly replaced. (GFL is not liable for damage to privately owned containers.)
Additional benefits for using GFL 65 recycle gal waste containers: While owner provided recycling containers are OK, GFL obviously prefers that residents use the provided recycling containers. GFL notes that the supplied 65 gal recycling containers provide all the benefits above plus:
  • The lidded containers keep out rain and dew. It is general knowledge that wet cardboard and paper is generally not recyclable. It is generally knowledge that SE Michigan gets and an average of 131 days of rain each year. The math suggests that if you use an open bin and set it out the night before (or even in the morning if rain or snow is expected), for perhaps 40% of the time your items are likely to end up in the landfill instead of being recycled
How to sign up to exchange your lidded recycling container for an 18 gal bin (and/or have your 96 gal container removed if you decide to use you own container): During the weekend of July 11-12, Dave Stockson will send out an email request to compile a list of names, with the intent of forwarding the information to GFL by Thursday July 16. If technology cooperates, you will only need to reply to the email with your pertinent information. HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS: Some residents may not have email or may not monitor it closely. Please help alert these neighbors and if they do not have the means of responding, consider sending a note to David on their behalf.
If you wish to exchange your lidded recycling container for an open 18 gal bin (or have either GFL container taken back), watch for and reply to the email that will be sent at the end of this week.  
Phase out of LAIA board liaison: All residents should have an account number and should be able to contact GFL directly for support and questions about their accounts. However, during this transition period (which is being extended for about a month until the batch exchange occurs) the support person will advise you to work through your LAIA GFL liaison for things like obtaining an 18 gal recycling bin. This push back should end after the exchange, and GFL will become just another of your personal vendors. LAIA has no contract with GFL except a verbal agreement that whatever improved rate is obtained through the Scio contract will also apply to LAIA’s Webster residents. The board will discuss assigning a regular liaison to GFL for community issues at its July 15 meeting.