Battle Creek is about to make a big change in services for city residents. The big changeover from Waste Management to Republic Services for the city’s waste-hauling and recycling pickups kicks in Thursday. Nope – not an April Fool’s joke. Battle Creek city administrators decided to put the service out for competitive bid last year. One of the reasons was the financial crunch on the city budget from COVID-19 issues. Waste Management still wanted to provide waste hauling for the city and did enter a bid. But Republic Services came in a couple of million dollars less. For a city forced to layoff workers and even outsource a department, that’s a big deal. So Republic got the deal.

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Now they just have to make it all work. Despite a regular stream of updates and notices from the city, no doubt some residents haven’t prepared for the changeover. Some may not even know it is going to happen. And the city is addressing some glitches in the switch with just days to go. The latest city blog post shows a variety of issues that are being handled in the final days before the changeover. They include:

-About 500 city residents did not get entered in a new recycling database to receive recycling carts. The city is apologizing for the mistake and promises the carts are on the way. But it may take a while.

-As of Thursday, April 1, Battle Creek residents need to call Republic Services for missed pick-ups and other garbage hauling issues. The number is
888-249-5112. Some city residents are already calling that number with questions and are getting an inaccurate or frustrating answer. The system will not be fully integrated until Thursday. The city recommends don’t call the number until Thursday to avoid that confusion.

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