Bethlehem Twp. cites surprising survey responses

 

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. – Commercial contractors are dumping yard waste at Bethlehem Township’s Yard Waste and Recycling Center and increasing township costs, according to information presented at Monday’s Bethlehem Township Commissioners meeting.

According to board President Michael Hudak, outside commercial contractors are dumping materials at the facility. He said the center is available for residential use, but contractors are able to utilize the site for a fee.

In a letter, the board said there is an excess of material being dumped by contractors on the facility’s property, which is costing the township extra money to manage. The board said that at one point, Green Pond Nursery hauled mulch off of the property for free. However, due to excess dumping of tree debris by contractors, the nursery has no more room. Now the township must pay to have it moved.

The board is currently attempting to create policies that would deter contractors from dumping waste on to the municipal property. One proposed solution was to not allow double axle trailers, typically used by commercial landscapers, according to Hudak. However, the solution did not seem viable, and Hudak called for it to be reexamined.

“I’ve had a few complaints already from township taxpayers, homeowners, who have gone there and had their dual axle trailer loaded with their yard debris and turned away,” Hudak said.

Representatives from the facility said that, when it comes to double axle trailers, it’s visually harder to keep track of what is coming into the facility. Representatives said that they have finally gotten the situation under control. They said they’ve only had complaints from two residents, and don’t feel the need to change the policy for two people.

Hudak refuted, saying that he didn’t care if it was one taxpayer or 101 taxpayers, stressing the fact that “their tax dollars pay for this facility.”

“I think we need to somehow fine tune this so we’re not excluding our taxpayers from using (the facility) or forcing them to buy another trailer,” Hudak said.

One problem that still remains is how the yard waste workers will distinguish residents from commercial contractors that come up to dump yard waste at the facility. So far, the prohibition of double axle trailers is proving to be a problem in and of itself.

Hudak indicated that the board would be taking no action on the issue until further discussion was had between yard waste management and the board.