The decision is in.
After months of meetings and discussion, Palmer Township has decided to go with a waste hauling system that will be automated and use two 96-gallon toters: one for trash and one for recycling.
The Palmer Township Board of Supervisors approved a motion giving a five-year contract with three potential one-year extensions to Waste Management.
"I think this is going to be good for the township, good for our residents and good for Planet Earth," Supervisor Robert Smith said.
Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver, in presenting the motion, stated that the township held four hearings, took additional testimony from residents and bidders and then waited another month before making the decision.
"I'm in strong support of moving toward the toter system," Supervisor Bob Lammi said.
An automated garbage collection system uses a mechanic arm to dump trash, thus cutting down on manpower needed for hauling. Township officials believe the toters, with covers, will keep streets and neighborhoods cleaner.
"This is the way of the future," Supervisor K. Michael Mitchell said. "Now we should get no more complaints from residents."
As part of the contract, the township will schedule four quarterly pickups of large items, like couches. Those who can't wait for those pickups can purchase a $25 bulk tag from the municipal building.
A representative from J.P. Mascaro & Sons, one of the three bidders and the township's current waste hauler, thanked the board.
"Obviously, we're disappointed," the representative said. "But it has been our pleasure to serve the township."
The township decided this year to split its garbage collection into thirds, setting up individual contracts for recycling, waste collection and hauling.
"This is a safe bet for us," Colver said. "We fully support it."
The new waste hauling contract begins May 2.