Thursday, June 17, 2021

Residents take trash complaints to trustees

Julie Brown, Special Writer

Sam Caramagno, of GFL (Green For Life) trash pickup, faced intensive questioning at the June 8 Canton Township Board of Trustees meeting. 

He was questioned both by residents, including Jasmine Lee, and by trustees over trash pickup problems in Canton Township. In addition, Canton residents complained that they haven't had their phone calls to GFL returned in a timely manner.

Caramagno said that Memorial Day and the Christmas season yield the largest amounts of trash to be collected each year.

 “We're working hard at getting back on track,” he said.

Resident Jasmine Lee outlined the issues she has experienced with GFL in a letter to township Treasurer Dian Slavens and to township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak.

“We are having a lot of issues,” she said. Another resident asked during the meeting if plastics are incinerated in Canton to which there was no reply. He also encouraged composting of food scraps to reduce garbage amounts.

Caramagno noted the recent Memorial Day holiday as well as GFL staffing issues have caused some situations. He said GFL wages have increased by as much as $4 an hour, and added that the heavy call volume to the service center is “at least on the downswing.”

Lee and another resident both used the chat comments at the virtual meeting to suggest a review of the GFL contract and at least consider seeking another provider. Trustee Steven Sneideman noted other communities, some served by GFL, also have trash collection issues. He said that he has seen that situation in a northern Michigan community.

In other business, trustees unanimously denied an appeal of a man who sought an ice cream vendor license. He had a speeding ticket in Westland in a school zone, as well as Canton police incidents in 2014 and 2016.

A Canton Police Department sergeant spoke at the virtual meeting regarding the appeal and trustees expressed concerns about the 2016 incident of the vendor applicant taking photos of an unclothed male youth.

The vendor applicant was represented by his family as he doesn't speak English.