Priority Waste officially takes control of GFL residential accounts

GFL's lack of service during their final weeks has been reported, Priority Waste is working to catch up
Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 01, 2024

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Issues with GFL trash pickup have been reported for weeks throughout metro Detroit, with some residents saying their pickups were days late, while others say it didn’t come at all.

This was happening as GFL finalized a sale of their residential accounts to Priority Waste, a sale that became final on Friday. Priority Waste officially took control Monday morning.

Take a drive through the University Hills neighborhood of Rochester Hills and you’ll find trash bins and trash bags lined up at the road. This is on trash night, but neighbors say it's last week’s garbage.

"The main bin has been there for a week untouched,” resident Brian Dunphy said.

Dunphy is a longtime resident and says throughout the last month, service from their trash collector GFL has been spotty as the company was in the midst of being purchased by Priority Waste.

“We've had ordinarily good service but with their transition, things have not been going smoothly,” Dunphy said. “We never really know from one week to the next which bin is going to be picked up and which isn't... Sometimes we would just hold our breath and wait to see if a truck came by.”

Even in another subdivision down the road, residents also reported a similar problem

“It seems like it was getting progressively later and in some cases, not until the next day,” Rochester Hills resident Carter Tillage said. "I've heard people complaining about it. It's really been the buzz of the neighborhood.”

GFL's lack of service during their final weeks has been reported across metro Detroit, and Priority Waste has heard it too.

VIDEO: GFL customers dealing with trash collection back-ups amid transfer

'There's trash all over.' GFL customers deal with pick-up delays amid transfer

“I don't know what was going on with the performance of the previous hauler, but what we can say is based on the call volume and types of calls that have been coming in today, people feel they’ve been neglected in areas,” said Matt Allen, director of Public Relations and Government Affairs at Priority Waste.

Allen took us inside the company's headquarters in Clinton Township on day one of the purchase being final. They now have 73 new communities and 700,000 new customers. Their calls are being tracked in the command center. Communities with the most calls on Monday included Waterford, West Bloomfield and Rochester Hills.

"Either there’s informational issues, they want to know something or there’s a problem,” Allen said of the calls. "There are some communities that we have been told have been weeks behind in certain areas.”

Allen says hundreds of GFL trucks arrived Sunday night. So while things should remain the same for customers, it could take weeks to get everyone caught up.

“Their garbage day is going to stay the same, their cans are going to stay the same, their routines will stay the same,” Allen said. "If you've been in an area that’s been rather neglected or behind, we’re going to try to get you caught up as quickly as possible, but it’s not going to be done in a single day.”

As Priority gets the trucks outfitted with their technology, they ask for patience, while promising customers like Dunphy that things will get better.

“We hear you, we care and we’re coming. We want to be excellent for you,” Allen said. "Give us a little bit of time, so we can get the equipment out there and our trucks refitted and get our right sizing with personal and service capacity and we’ll be there for all of metro Detroit.”

“There's an opportunity to really do damage control on this and show they can reliably do the service that’s expected of them,” Dunphy said. “We're hoping that this is going to be an improvement for the better, but we're definitely going to be taking a wait-and-see on it."

There will be no trash pickup on Thursday as it's the 4th of July holiday.