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Palmer Changes Recyclable Collection

Palmer Township is switching to single-stream collection for recyclables.

Many of us take out all of our recyclables each week along with our trash.

But residents still have to place newspapers, plastics, cans, glass bottles and paper items separately on the curb.

Those days are coming to an end.

Greenstar Recycling recently won a bid to handle the township's recyclables. The bid came in at $47.68 per ton.

The contract begins May 2, 2013.

The township decided to split its waste collection into separate contracts, one each for recycling, disposal and hauling.

At the same recent Palmer Township meeting, it was also announced that Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc. would handle disposal starting next May. The company's bid was $45.90 a ton.

Waste collection and hauling bids could be awarded by Aug. 1.

Township Coordinator Cindy Oatis said the move to split the contracts seemed ideal because "the industry has changed so much" since the last time the township sought bids for its waste collection.

"By bidding separately, we believe we can get the best prices," she said.

Solicitor Charles Bruno said the contracts are for five years with a right to renew one year at a time for three straight years.

Oatis said single-stream recycling is so much easier for residents.

Residents will receive 96-gallon automated carts for recyclables. They previously had 32-gallon open-top receptacles.

With a relatively low recycling rate of around 18 percent, Oatis said the switch will bolster the township's recycling tonnage, allowing the township to send less to the landfill but also providing a revenue source since the township will earn money from its recyclables.

"We have much more control," Supervisor Bob Lammi said. "The more we recycle, the more we get back. Our recycling rate right now is very bad."

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