Greencastle borough discusses going with just one trash collection company

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Greencastle Borough Council is moving toward having just one trash collection company serve the community.

Greencastle Borough Council is considering contracting with just one hauler for trash collection in the borough.

At the July 5 meeting, council authorized staff to work with solicitor Salzmann Hughes to begin the process of establishing a single trash hauler. Five companies currently operate in the borough: Waste Connections, Parks, Worthys, Waste Management and Republic Services.

"We're looking to comprehensively improve services in the borough," said Steve Miller, council president.

In addition, council has been talking about a single hauler for nearly a year in connection with a ban on open burning.

During the public comment period, Albert Miller said now is not the time to make the change. He ran with a group of candidates in the primary that secured the Republican nominations for the four seats on council in the November election.

Albert Miller said 80% of the people who returned a survey the group circulated don't want a single hauler.

Steve Miller said the move is just one step and not a final decision.

Councilman Duane Kinzer suggested putting the proposal on the borough website and giving people a chance to comment. Emilee Little, borough manager, said a public forum could be held to provide information.

Emilee Little, Greencastle borough manager

"Based on concerns including roadway and pedestrian safety, deterioration of Borough streets, and noise issues, the Public Facilities committee is recommending Borough Council continue the discussion of obtaining a single trash hauler to provide exclusive curbside refuse collection services to the Borough," Little wrote in her report that can be found on the borough website.

The noise of trash trucks on borough streets during the early morning hours has been brought up by residents during the public comment period at previous meetings.

Additional services would include collection of bulky items and yard waste, as well as senior discounts, according to Little.

The borough provides regular leaf collection in the fall, but giving people a way to get rid of sticks and limbs is needed if open burning is to be banned in the borough.

Burning garbage, trash and other rubbish is already prohibited under the borough's open burning ordinance, and council members started talking last summer about banning all burning except for recreation and ceremonial purposes.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Mayor Ben Thomas talks about single trash hauling system

"Due to the scale of services and additional bargaining power, establishing a single trash hauler would likely result in a reduction in cost to all Borough residents electing to participate in this program," according to Little's report.

Mayor Ben Thomas Jr. said the goal is always to provide additional services for less money. He added that if bids are high, they can always be rejected.

Residents could opt out of the trash collection contract if, for example, they take their trash to the Waste Management landfill in Upton for free disposal. However, they could not opt out to go with another hauler.