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Palmer Splits Trash Collection Into Three Services

Palmer Board of Supervisors agrees to get bids on separate contracts for recycling, collection and hauling.

is making changes to how it will collect garbage.

Instead of having one trash hauler, have decided to split the township's waste collection into three separate contracts: one for recycling, one for disposal and a third for hauling.

The township's current trash and recycling hauler is J.P. Mascaro & Sons.

"We will really be able to restructure," Township Manager Christopher Christman said. "We can drive our costs down in the end. It's going to be a much better process for everyone involved."

Township Recycling Coordinator Cindy Oatis delivered the final revision of the proposal before the Board of Supervisors at last week's meeting.

"I think we have it nailed down," she said in giving supervisors an update on waste hauler bids.

Oatis and the Palmer Township Environmental Steering Committee have held meetings to educate the public about the township's options and benefits.

The final of four meetings will be on May 23 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Palmer Memorial Library.

Oatis told supervisors that the contract changes will bring about better prices for the township, especially regarding recycling.

"We'll get some compensation back from our recyclables," Oatis said. "Now they will go to us."

Oatis said a recycling contract would come first followed by disposal and then hauling.

Supervisor Bob Lammi stressed that it's important to find out a hauler's qualifications and that the township needs to find out from bidders where they do their work now so references can be checked.

"That way, we can check with a municipality to see how their work is," Lammi said.

Lammi and Supervisor Robert Smith also wondered about the impact on fuel prices and that bids should be broken down to account for that.

Solicitor Charles Bruno said finding a hauler within a certain radius of the township might help.

Oatis said haulers would be encouraged to provide a flat-ton amount for recyclables since the commodities market is in constant flux.

The township's current contract, which expires at the end of April 2013, allows for unlimited garbage, weekly recycling and making residents separate their recyclables like newspapers, cans and glass.

Township officials want to beef up recycling efforts, which have fallen below 20 percent of total trash.

Oatis is stressing the importance of having a single-stream system where all recyclables such as glass, newsprint, paper and cardboard are placed in a single container.

The top option, Oatis believes, is going to a fully automated system. This system, she said, has trucks picking up trash using a mechanical arm and uses 96-gallon plastic containers with wheels and lids to contain garbage from spilling over or blowing away.

Colver asked supervisors and Oatis if there are any red flags.

"We've been working together," Bruno said. "I think we're ready to go out to bid."

warbird May 02, 2012 at 11:22 AM
This is a terrible Idea Palmer twp. the system is fine the way it is now,this new system is not going to improve anything, right now we have unlimited garbage service. with the new system you can only put so much into the can, And,if it is too heavy it gets left on the curb. and you have to remove some trash,and then put it out for the following week. nice smell!!! and what about the over flow? keep that around for an extra week too. what about the older citizens?? how do you think they will navigate a HUGE 96 gal container? or will you just say ( not our problem)? is the township going to pass the container cost to the homeowners? and where are these big ugly containers going to go? right ,I get it ( again, not your problem). We voted you in to help us, NOT make things more difficult and costly for us. just leave the system the way it is. you know the saying: ( IF IT IS NOT BROKE,DON'T FIX IT. )
Concerned Resident May 02, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I told you 3yrs. ago Dave Colver that this would never work, and you agreed with me. Why are you caving in to Oatis? You know the red flags, they have been told to you many times, open your eyes and fight for your township!
Concerned Resident May 02, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Oh wait here is another problem the supervisors will have: In our development many people park their vehicles on the street by the curbs. These same people place their garbage containers along the curb as well. Are we now going to not be able to park on the street so this New Truck Collector can use it's mechanical arm to empty the container? Watch out Palmer, you are now going to get a citation if you park on the street near your container because the "Mechanical Arm" cannot empty your container. Hmmmm, I guess that's one way to get more money into the budget!
Concerned Resident May 02, 2012 at 12:18 PM
I'm really curious Cindy Oatis, why why why are you so hell bent on pushing this system when it has been proven not to work???
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. May 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Concerned Resident's comments are well taken...I can only hope the Township is doing the right thing.
Jim Grossly May 02, 2012 at 02:20 PM
This just means more trucks running around. STUPID
bye May 04, 2012 at 08:22 AM
not a good idea - more trash will be dumped along roads and we will have to pay for clean up
TRAVIS May 17, 2012 at 07:54 PM
BY HAVING COMPANIES BID FOR THE SERVICES THE COST TO THE PUBLIC WILL DECREASE AND IF THE COMPANY THAT GETS IT WANTS TO KEEP IT THEN THEY WILL GET OUT AND GET THE CAN AND MOVE IT IF THERE IS A CAR IN THE WAY.
Rae Mer September 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Stupidity at its best...the system wasnt broke...why the dumb fix...96 gal containers...something else besides mail boxs for the plows to hit and kids to knock over....Einsteins !!!
Ann Sinclair Davenport May 05, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I am an older citizen and am 5' tall. The new carts are almost as tall as I am and I can't handle it to get it to the curb. Now what? Are we entitled to a second can if we have an over filled cart regularly? What are we supposed to do with the garbage that doesn't fit in the cart? People are complaining that the township is messy...what will it be like if residents find somewhere in the township to dump the bags because they don't have room in the cart? When will the township be picking up the smaller recycle cans we used before the switch? Also, what are we supposed to do with the garbage cans we used previously? Doesn't look very promising to me.

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