WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Bridgeway Dumps Macomb Recycling Program

Feb 28, 2015

Glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper from Macomb will no longer be sorted at the Bridgeway facility on the west end of town. In a letter dated February 17, 2015, the company said it’s been operating the program at a loss for several years.

The letter said the company is on target to lose another $418,000 this fiscal year. The program was shut down Saturday, February 28.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said residents should continue sorting recyclable materials and placing them in their large green cart with the yellow lid.  He said the city’s waste hauler, Waste Management, outsourced the recycling program to Bridgeway and it’s now up to Waste Management to find someplace else to handle recyclables.

Inman pointed out the city has a contract with Waste Management and higher fees should not be imposed on the city or its residents.

“Our position would be that we should incur no additional costs because of an ancillary business contract that we had no hand in,” Inman said.

They mayor has no doubt the company will come up with a solution.

“This is a corporate philosophy for Waste Management – to engage fully in the recycling process – so we have no reason to suspect they would deviate from that company policy in dealing with Macomb,” Inman said.

Bridgeway stopped recycling glass in the latter half of last year, which was a surprise to Inman when he learned of that market-based decision last fall.

Mayor Mike Inman said Macomb residents should continue sorting their recyclable materials and placing them in their cart with the yellow lid.
Credit Rich Egger

Inman said a meeting was held early in the year with representatives from City Hall, Waste Management, and Bridgeway to try working out a solution but Bridgeway ultimately decided it could no longer continue.

The Bridgeway letter -- by Bridgeway CEO Phil Arnold and Robert Johnson, President, Affirmative Employment -- said those who worked on the recycling contract “…will be given the opportunity to work on other Bridgeway contracts.”

Bridgeway did not respond to Tri States Public Radio’s inquiry regarding how many employees will be affected.