Urge to purge -- Metro Detroit overwhelms garbage collection services

With the stay-at-home order extended through the end of April, many residents have put on gloves and started spring cleaning.
With the stay-at-home order extended through the end of April, many residents have put on gloves and started spring cleaning.

DETROITWith the stay-at-home order extended through the end of April, many residents have put on gloves and started spring cleaning.

UPDATE April 9, 3 p.m. -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 21,504; Death toll now at 1,076

UPDATE April 10, 9 a.m. -- GFL is suspending all yard waste collection

Metro Detroiters have the urge to purge during the coronavirus outbreak. Household after household are cleaning house -- along with garages, attics, yards and more.

Waste management company GFL Environment said it has never seen such a tidal wave of garbage and the influx is slowing crews down. Trucks are having to dump their garbage three to five times a day as employees work 14 hour days.

GFL said supervisors and managers have jumped in to help what’s become a 15% increase in trash.

The company is urging residents to rent a container for large clean-outs.

Erika Repasky on Grosse Ile is stuck at home and is purging up a storm.

“I am working on my garage right now," Repasky said. “This is everything I have and there is a lot more to come.”

She said she’s doing it the kind way by renting a dumpster.

“It is really easy,” Repasky said. "I called yesterday and it came this morning. It’s here for a week and that is it.”

She said the container she rented cost about $200 -- a cost she’s splitting with a friend.

Some garbage collectors around the country have said enough is enough and are refusing bulk pick up. GFL said it understands the situation and will continue to pick it all up.


About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.