The shut down of Detroit Renewable Power’s trash burning site in March has caused logistical challenges for one of the region’s largest residential waste hauling firms and left some of the communities that relied on the plant scrambling for emergency solutions of where to send their trash. “Any time that you have a disposal site immediately fall off the radar there’s going to be some disruptions, particularly one as centrally located as that was,” said Joe Munem, a spokesman for Green For Life Environmental Inc., a Toronto-based hauling company that has contracts with dozens of communities throughout Metro Detroit and several impacted by the closure.
“We have found that the greatest impact that this closure has on us now is it’s increased our travel time back and forth to the landfills. Any time that you have to spend more time doing something that you had previously spent less time on, there’s a cost to that involved.”
Munem said GFL is analyzing the financial impact of the changes as well as whether additional resources may be needed. “We’re exploring the impact of this, and then we’ll make those business decisions accordingly,” he said.
Grosse Pointe Woods officials sent out several notices in recent weeks, alerting residents that trash pickup may be later than usual due to the permanent incinerator shutdown. GFL, a letter from the city noted, “now must travel further to empty its trucks, delaying their daily progress in the Woods.” The hauling company, the city added, plans to “keep its crews working extra hours each day to keep your pickup on schedule.”
Grosse Pointe Woods, along with Detroit, Warren and Grosse Pointe Park, are now diverting their waste to the Pine Tree Acres landfill in Macomb County’s Lenox Township rather than the waste-to-energy facility on Detroit’s east side.