Past Issues‎ > ‎

Solid Waste

The taxpayers of Ann Arbor pay a solid waste millage for trash, recycling and composting services. In the years up to 2010, that millage generated a surplus of almost $8 million. In 2010, the City used most of that surplus to convert from its dual stream recycling system to a new single stream recycling system. The money was spent on new trucks and sorting equipment. When the conversion was being considered, we heard many promises of the substantial savings we would experience under the single stream system.

Remember, before the conversion, we were generating surpluses.

After the conversion used most of the accumulated surplus, we lost the annual Christmas Tree pick up. The City also ended the curb bulk leaf pick up it had performed twice each fall and instead required that leaves be in a compost container or bagged.

Oh, and the millage no longer generated a surplus.

And, now we pay to get into the recycling drop off center.

Then in 2011, Recycle Ann Arbor returned to Council asking that its contract be revised because it needed more funding to perform it recycling collections - the single stream collections that would save us money.

But, we're not done saving yet.

The City is reviewing its Solid Waste Plan in 2012. In the discussions of that plan, there is an idea that the City should cut back our garbage collection from one each week to once every two weeks. (see the bottom of page 4 of the meeting notes below).

We have gone from surpluses through service cuts without any of the promised savings. What happened?

Ann Arbor Neighborhoods,
Mar 21, 2012, 10:08 AM