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Borough's commercial trash collection to keep rates level

July 13, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg will be taking over the collection of commercial trash next year, a move expected to save the borough money and spare customers any rate increase in the near future.

"We bid it out, we got one bid from Chambersburg Waste Paper and the staff did some analysis," Council President William McLaughlin said Wednesday. "Over the term of the contract, the borough could save its commercial customers approximately $100,000 a year."

Chambersburg Waste Paper has had the contract since 2004, with the borough paying the company $2.15 per cubic yard of commercial waste, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said Wednesday. The bid for the new three-year contract was $2.85 a cubic yard, he said.

Over a year, Oyer said that would cost about $420,000, but the borough can do it for an estimated $320,000 a year.

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McLaughlin said the borough will need to buy two new trucks and a used truck to collect trash from commercial containers. The money for the trucks will come from the borough's Motor Equipment Capital Reserve Fund and the cost will be amortized over the three years and repaid to the fund, he said.

Container waste from commercial establishments covers schools, churches and apartment buildings, along with businesses and industries, Oyer said. There are 727 commercial container customers, Director of Public Works Robert Wagner said.

Commercial rates could have gone up had the borough decided not to collect commercial waste, Oyer said.

"Their rate will not be changing" in 2007, Oyer said. "What this action is, is a cost avoidance."

Commercial customers have containers ranging in size from 1 1/2 to 4 cubic yards, Wagner said. A customer with weekly pickup for a 4-cubic-yard container pays $113.54 a month, he said.

"It's probably one of the better rates around," Wagner said. There are some factors outside the borough's control that could result in increased rates, such as a few years ago when the state added a $7 per ton fee to the cost of disposing waste at landfills within Pennsylvania.

The last time trash fees went up was in 2005, after 13 years of no increases, Wagner said. The borough hopes to keep the rates steady for several more years, he said.

The borough's Sanitation Department also collects household trash for 6,767 residential customers, Wagner said. The cost to those customers is $11.50 a month for up to three bags a week.

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