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Recycling program returns with new sanitation contract

Hamtramck has a new sanitation contractor, and also a permanent recycling drop-off center.


By Charles Sercombe
You may have noticed new, banana-yellow garbage trucks cruising the alleys and streets recently.
City officials sped up the process of bringing on a new company, after numerous residents complained that the former contractor, GFL, was not picking up their household garbage on a regular basis.
The city’s new sanitation company, Priority Waste Holdings, is also brand new to servicing communities.
The service was put out for bid a couple of months ago. Four companies submitted bids, with Priority coming in as the low-bidder by about $20,000.
The contract is worth almost $800,000 a year.
There is an added benefit to the deal.
The company will also have recycling bins available for the public, open around-the-clock and seven days a week.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bins will be held this Monday, at 10 a.m., located just east of Conant at 3900 Christopher St.

“This is an exciting opportunity, because we will no longer have to save our recyclable materials in our kitchens and garages for a month; we can go to drop off plastic and paper anytime that is convenient” said Recycling Commission member Sarah Terrien, in a city-issued press release.
Mayor Karen Majewski added, “We are grateful for the support of the commission, students and our volunteers who assisted in making this transition from the monthly drop off to this new location in our city a success.”
The public can drop off the following items: paper, cardboard, and #1 and #2 plastics.
While the company is new to offering household trash collection, the company has several experienced executives who have been involved in companies that performed household collection, said City Manager Kathy Angerer.
There was some initial concern about hiring the new company, because it will be operating a transfer station on the other side of its location on Vincent St.
City Council candidate Robert Zwolak said he’s concerned about trash being stored there. That’s not the case, though, said Angerer.
Only construction waste will be dropped off there for sorting, Angerer said.
June 28, 2019

10 Responses to Recycling program returns with new sanitation contract

  1. Fatema Hossain

    June 29, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    This is highly controversial.

    Robert Zwolak’s concerns are well-founded.

    3900 Christopher has been controversial for a number of years.

    We need to keep an eye on this.

  2. Dennis Nowak

    June 30, 2019 at 1:20 am

    There had been some issues several years ago about Empire Disposal doing clean-up work on the 3900 Christopher and whether or not a permit was needed as a demolition project. This was back in mid-2013 just before Cathy Square assumed office as emergency manager.

    Former Councilperson Cathie Gordon was serving on City Council at that juncture and had been looking into whether Empire Disposal had been properly conducting activities at that site – which had been a long vacant former human waste incinerator.

    It seemed to be unclear who was owning or leasing that site at that time.

  3. Nasr Hussain

    June 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    It’s worth noting that this property is owned by WITJ HOLDINGS LLC whose registered agent is former mayor and councilperson Thomas Jankowski. Very important information that is missing from this article.

  4. Dennis Nowak

    July 1, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    @Nasr Hussein:

    Thanks for the information.

    Empire Disposal, per state records, is also linked to Tom Jankowski, who was serving as a City Council member at the time in mid-2013 that “clean-up” work was being conducted at 3900 Christopher. Kyle Tertzag, then acting as city manager, eventually signed a permit so Empire Disposal could clearly work at that site; Kathy Angerer also served as assistant city manager at this juncture at was pushing to help Empire Disposal get its needed permit. Angerer and Tom Jankowski have been very, very close politically.

    Jankowski is perhaps best known locally for his ownership of the Whiskey in a Jar tavern on Joseph Campau, where City Clerk Augie Gitschlag has worked as a bartender.

  5. Roadman

    July 2, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Who owns and operates Priority Waste Holdings?

    The resident agent is Vincent Hoyumpa – a Macomb County attorney – per State of Michigan records.

  6. Nasr Hussain

    July 3, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    From above link:

    Its president and majority owner, Pauline Stamper, was born in the Philippines and raised in metro Detroit. As a minority- and woman-owned company, Priority Waste has applied for certification with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce.

    Stamper also owns Clinton Township-based Stamper and Co., a property management company that started in 2009 and provides waste and recycling management services for the automotive industry and third-party logistics companies.

    “The $4 million in startup funds was raised by a single private investor, Langer said. His name was not disclosed. The company has five ownership partners, including Langer, Pauline Stamper, Kevin Stamper, Michael Acheson and one other person who wished to not be identified.”

  7. Roadman

    July 3, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    According to Pauline Stamper’s Linkedin site she received a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Wayne State University in 2001 and worked as a physical therapist from 2002 until 2018.

    That Linkedin site also describes her as CEO of “Stamper Facility Management” since 2009. How does a physical therapist simultaneously act as CEO of a management company?

    Does the 3900 Christopher site still have Tom Jankowski’s company as owner – or is he leasing the property to Priority Waste? I hear that WITJ Holdings, LLC may have sold the building to someone else – possibly Priority Waste – but I have had no confirmation on this point.

    Also how did WITJ Holdings, LLC acquire 3900 Christopher in the first place? Did they purchase it from someone who had themselves acquired it from Wayne County following foreclosure for unpaid property taxes?

    My understanding is the property had been vacant for a long time.

    Also, are there any complaints that have been voiced locally from citizens regarding the performance of Priority Waste?

  8. Fatema Hossain

    July 6, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    What also should have been mentioned in the article was that GFL purchased Rizzo Environmental in 2016 – just before the federal investigation of Rizzo began making headlines:

    I am wondering if the sudden shift to Priority Waste was not motivated by something other than the purported need to find someone who would prevent pick-up complaints from consumers?

    Tom Jankowski appears to may have derived some commericial benefit as his company apparently has owned 3900 Christopher. And he has had close ties to City Manager Kathy Angerer?

  9. Dennis Nowak

    July 7, 2019 at 12:09 am

    @Nasr Hussein:

    Regarding the ownership of Priority Waste:

    “…….and one other person that did not wish to be identified.

    Hmmmm… really makes me wonder who that individual is.

    Could it be someone with close Hamtramck government connections?

    And who put up the $4 million cash investment for Priority Waste?

    it really seems like an eerie coincidence that 3900 Christopher is unoccupied for decades and that WITJ Holdings pops up as owner not long before Priority Waste wants to use it as a facility. How much is WITJ Holdings receiving in lease or sale monies – if any – from the use of 3900 Christopher? How much did WITJ Holdings pay for its acquisition and when did they acquire the property?

    According to Priority Waste’s lawyers, the Kirk, Huth Lange & Badalamenti law firm, who issued a media release after the City Council approval, this is Priority Waste’s first municipal service contract.

    There should have been a disclosure by Priority Waste of all shareholders and officers as part of the municipal bid process. It should have been a factor in consideration that this entity had no prior experience as a sanitation service provider with respect to any municipality. It is an almost brand new company.

    The Priority Waste/City of Hamtramck relationship may work out but city officials need to be cautious and scrutinize the contract performance of this service provider.

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