On Tuesday night Palmer Township’s Board of Supervisors talked trash.
More accurately they mostly listened to the pros and cons of how the township will collect trash for at least the next five years.
There was no action taken Tuesday night. A vote is expected to be taken Sept. 25th.
Recycling Coordinator Cindy Oatis noted that four companies bid on the waste and recycling contract that is up for renewal on April 30, 2013. Waste Management and J.P. Mascaro & Sons were the low bidders, she said.
Currently Mascaro has the contract, which includes recycling, disposal and hauling, according to Oatis. The next contract will have individual companies handle each one, and Tuesday night’s discussion centered on hauling. The contract would be for five years, with three, one-year options, for a total of eight years.
Oatis made her pitch for a fully automated collection system.
“For one thing it would keep animals and birds out of the bags,” she noted. The fully automated system would also make for a “…cleaner and more uniform picture from the street.”
Oatis added it would be easier to transport and the lid would keep rain out as well.
The automated system has trucks picking up trash with a mechanical arm, thus eliminating the crews needed down to collect it down to one person, a driver on the right side of the truck.
Each of the township’s 7,200 residents would be required to have two carts by next spring – one for garbage, the other for recycling – said Chairman David Colver.
Those carts would be supplied by the township. If residents required more space, then another cart could be bought for about $125 over the course of the life of the contract.
But the impetus behind the move would undoubtedly be fiscal as the township would receive $47 per ton from recycling, according to Oatis.
Currently the township’s recycling percentage is languishing at only 17 percent, according to Supervisor Robert Lammi.
Resident currently pay $309 per year for trash and recycling, Colver said. And no matter what decision supervisors make next month, it will cost residents less.
“Rates are going down,” Colver said. “We’re going south, not north.”