Following years of unlimited garbage collection, Allen Township has signed a new contract with Advanced Disposal that only allows three bags of garbage to be put out to the curb every week. While the new garbage agreement does not include a rate hike, some residents believe they should have had a say in the decision.
Allen Township resident Tony Bennet spoke before supervisors during their meeting on Tuesday, September 10. He said that the decision should have been put to a vote.
“Let township citizens decide between a rate increase or a loss of service,” he said. “How much of a rate increase are we talking compared to the inconvenience?”
Gary Seng, another township resident, said Advanced Disposal workers are allegedly ripping open bags and going through trash, rejecting entire bags if one item is not in compliance.
“We have got to work around new restrictions,” he said.
Despite resident complaints, grass clippings and lawn waste were never allowed to be picked up under old contracts.
Supervisor Larry Oberly said that not every decision can go to a public vote.
“This is why the Board of Supervisors exists,” he said. “We cannot take things to the people every time.”
Before the board entered into a new contract, they used a consultant to put together the bid. Supervisors admitted that they did not read the bid closely enough to realize that garbage was no longer unlimited.
“Most of us were led to believe that everything was staying the same,” admitted Supervisor Dale Hassler.
The consultant not requesting a price for unlimited collection further frustrated residents.
Solicitor Lincoln Treadwell told residents that “the whole world of trash collection is changing” and that trash collectors face huge fines for not following the rules. As a result, residents should expect to see new regulations.
To help residents get around the three-bag limit, Hassler recommended marking a calendar with the number of bags put out each week. If a resident only puts out one bag instead of three, they should be allowed to accumulate the extra bags, he argues.
Supervisor Gerald Montanari recommended that residents ask their neighbors to share bags.
However, Oberly clarified that these are individual recommendations and not recommendations made “as a board.”
In other news, supervisors approved the construction of dugouts at Howertown Park’s main baseball field. The dugouts came at the request of the Bath-Allen Youth Club, who will be contributing $2,500 toward the total cost of $49,000. Funds will be coming from the township’s recreation fund.