THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Ben Thomas talks about single trash hauling system

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot
Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

So we did it. Tina and I removed and placed the outside porch sittin’ furniture in storage. We already are looking forward to spring, 2021 to again set up the furniture, however, winter must happen. If we have some warm weather, we can still set up those bag chairs. I’m thankful for the rainfall this past week and weekend as the groundwater table was certainly getting low.

So, join me for a few minutes as I’m authoring this report from our family room. A stiff wind is blowing outside our windows this Sunday afternoon. I just finished a hot tea that was quite soothing.

Veteran’s Day is next week, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. I hope you can attend the ceremony at borough hall on North Washington Street. If you cannot, tune in to WRGG for the program.

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So ... Greencastle’s council has been talking, off and on for years, about a single source trash hauling system. Many have told me they agreed or disagreed with the concept. I’m happy to write about how it would work as I’ve been involved with the single source system in Adams County for over 10 years now. It’s less expensive than what we pay locally with more services built into a three-year agreement.

I understand that Greencastle considered a system several years ago where you would receive a bill via your quarterly water/sewer statement. This was rejected. I do not agree with that method as there are residents who either take their trash directly to the Waste Management landfill on Saturday mornings or have access to a business Dumpster where they dispose of their household trash.

Here is an option that Greencastle may consider in the Spring of 2021. Allowing for free enterprise, Greencastle Borough would bid single source trash and recycling where all of the companies serving Greencastle could competitively bid for a multi-year contract. Services that may be built into this system include not only trash and recycling collection — added would be bulk item curb side pickup; electronic recycling once or twice a year (old televisions and computers); yard waste collection; set the start time for the hauler to begin (typically 6 a.m.); and you choose container services or individual bag collection (for low volume trash users). The borough always reserves the right to reject bids (if not advantages for our citizens).

Here are some other benefits. You would sign up and receive quarterly statements directly from the low bid hauler; morning collection start time would be designated by the borough; there would be one each collection truck for refuse and recycling on your street during the week, not six or eight with some currently beginning at 2:30 a.m. (I’m a light sleeper so I definitely hear them); your quarterly costs would potentially be less with more services provided as stated.

This is what our system with multiple municipalities experiences in Adams County as the low bidder has the benefit of getting all the business based on free enterprise competition for a three-year contract. If things are going well, the contract may be extended an additional year.

Greencastle’s goal: Competitive single source trash and recycling costs (hopefully less); more collection services as stated; control collection start-time; far less trucks and respective weight on borough streets.

Bottom line … I believe such a system will save you money while providing additional collection services with limited heavy vehicles all hours of the night. If not advantages, council simply rejects all bids.

Remember … free parking is now in effect for November and December downtown. Support our small businesses as they support the G-A community. Shop Small Saturday is Nov. 28. Let’s make every day Shop Small in G-A!

Hope to see you at the Veteran’s Day program Nov. 11. Thanks for reading. Continue to call and support your families and friends. We are blessed.