Posted August 15, 2015
Checking out Rizzo Environmental Services of Detroit it appears that the father and son operated waste disposal operation is big time in motor city and surrounding area.
But digging into the company’s background reveals it is a conglomeration of partners and acquired companies.
The parent company, Rizzo Group, is partnered with Michael Farrentino Jr of EQ-The Environmental Quality Co, located in Wayne County, Michigan. It also is connected with New York City-based Kinderhook Industries and Habib Mamou, president of V&M Corp, doing business as Royal Oak Recycling.
With all this firepower, why is the Rizzo Group sending raw Detroit and area recyclables for processing in Guelph? Why is Guelph’s waste General Manager, Dean Wyman, so closed mouthed about the contract?
Recall when Wyman presented his case for renewing the Rizzo Group contract that would require a second shift to handle increased volume? He said the contract would net $300,000. Yet the citizens have no idea what the deal contains and the city’s obligations.
The Rizzo Group threatened to pull out of Guelph unless the city could handle increased volume of Detroit waste. So council approved hiring a second shift to handle the Detroit materials.
Was this increased volume the cause that sent eight workers to hospital this week? Did the Rizzo volume cause the Ministry of the Environment to order a clean up of waste materials in the open storage, yard waste catch basins, and power washing of the organic processing plant’s filters?
What prompted this before the hospitalization of the workers, were a number of odour complaints made by citizens living near the facility.
We now know the stuff was being stored outside and in the old Subor wet waste building. We also know that eight workers were sent to hospital because of a toxic odour in the tipping area of the recycling facility.
When the Public Advisory Committee requests information about the Rizzo deal and sources of the odours, Wyman stonewalls, stating the details are confidential. This is the same manager who was aboard when the $34 million Organic Waste Processing Facility was built in 2011. To this day, details of operational costs of that environmental adventure are not part of the public record.
Even more interesting is what are the terms of the contract that allows an outside company, Wellington Organix, to run the plant? This company and subsidiary, Aim Environmental, are owned by Maple Reinders, builders of the plant.
What are the terms and conditions of these contracts? The taxpayers have funded this entire Waste Resource Innovation Centre plus the $15,500,000 spent on the cart collection system.
It’s now apparent that this whole waste management system is poorly managed, operates without a business plan and does not report a balance sheet showing the financial status of the multi-million dollar operation.
The irony is, that the system fails to serve an estimated 9 per cent of the Guelph population.
But, it makes secret deals with the Detroit Rizzo Group, the Region of Waterloo and to sell compost to some unidentified farmer in Arkona.
What is the benefit to Guelph citizens who put up the money to service outside municipalities and interests?
These kinds of secret confidences are a pathway to corruptive practices including kickbacks, hidden bonuses and non-cash perks.
It’s public money and the public has the right to know what the city is doing with it.
The only way to get at the truth is to conduct an independent, top to bottom audit of the waste management operation.