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Palmer Trash Choice Close

Palmer Township supervisors expected to decide Sept. 25 on whether to go to automated garbage collection system.

may have a decision on how its trash should be collected at its next meeting.

Officials are weighing whether to go to an automated garbage collection system, one that would use a mechanic arm to dump trash, thus cutting down on manpower needed for hauling.

At a recent meeting, township briefed the Board of Supervisors and residents about the benefits of such a system.

With the move, two of the three people who man a garbage truck would be out of a job. But officials believe the change is worth it, since trash collection would be safer and more efficient.

The board is expected to make a decision at its Sept. 25 meeting.

Three bidders are competing for the multi-million-dollar collection contract, a five-year agreement with three one-year options.

Bidders squared off at the meeting on the benefits of an automated system vs. sticking with the traditional trash collection.

Representatives from Waste Management said that an automated system reduces collection costs due to savings from labor and insurance to cover injured workers.

But Sam Augustine of J.P. Mascaro & Sons, one of the three bidders, stressed that sometimes change isn't so great.

"We served this township for the better part of six years," Augustine said.

He objected to full automation, saying that robotic arms aren't perfect and some streets in the township may be hard to handle for automation. He argued unlimited pickup using traditional trucks is still the way to go.

The township decided this year to , setting up individual contracts for recycling, waste collection and hauling.

Either way, residents are expected to see from the changes, Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver stressed.

Susan Kalnas September 14, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Who pays for everyone to get new garbage cans associated with the automated collection?

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