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Waste Management Temporarily Takes Over Recycling Plant in Ann Arbor, Mich., Raises Concerns

Local environmentalists are upset with the takeover because they think that Waste Management views recycling as a threat to landfill profits.

On August 4, the City Council of Ann Arbor, Mich., approved a $295,690 emergency purchase order for Waste Management to provide its services to the city for at least six weeks.  This decision has caused concerns amongst local environmentalists because they think that Waste Management views recycling as a threat to landfill profits.

The city’s arrangement with Waste Management is temporary at this time, and the city will soon put out a request for proposals for a long-term operator of the recycling plant.

MLive has more:

Texas-based Waste Management Inc. has stepped in to run and evaluate Ann Arbor's recycling plant for at least six weeks, a move that has some local environmentalists concerned.

Mike Garfield, director of the Ecology Center, and Margie Teall, a former City Council member who serves on the Recycle Ann Arbor board of directors, have questioned the city's decision to hire Waste Management after the city dropped its previous recycling plant operator. They argue Waste Management views recycling as a threat to landfill profits and isn't the right partner for a city that wants to significantly increase recycling.

"To my mind, employing Waste Management to run the city of Ann Arbor's recycling facility is something like hiring a former oil company executive to run the Department of Environmental Quality. It flies in the face of all the values we say we hold dear," said Garfield, who has been closely involved in Ann Arbor's recycling efforts for many years and serves on the board of Recycle Ann Arbor, which is under the umbrella of the Ecology Center.

Read the full story here.

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