- An audit of waste collection services in Harrisburg, PA revealed that city workers were picking up at many unaccounted state buildings. Therefore the city introduced a new agreement covering 33 buildings, which will double the state's monthly collection bill and generate an extra $600,000 per year for the city.
- The City Council approved the new deal, along with a few other provisions, on Tuesday. The city must now use a truck from 2016 or newer to collect from the state route, guarantee a fixed rate for five years unless the city offers a lower rate to another customer, and collect all recyclables except glass.
- Mayor Eric Papenfuse said that because of this and other recent changes, residential trash rates could be reduced next year.
As Penn Live consistently reports, Mayor Papenfuse has been busy reforming the city's waste collection systems since he took office in 2014. One of the main issues is transitioning away from private collection to public collection. A 1992 ordinance prohibits private haulers from operating in Harrisburg without a waiver.
Yet some locations had still been using private services, while also being billed for public services. Last year, the city said eight apartment buildings owed $1.6 million in fees. Harrisburg has been making agreements with private haulers to transition many of these accounts back to city collection this year.
Other city initiatives have included purchasing new collection trucks and reworking the recycling system. The city previously paid a company to take recyclables, but under a new deal the company Penn Waste pays the city $17 per ton of material. Curbside glass collection has also been suspended. Residents must now use drop-off sites and businesses must make special arrangements for bulk collection.