Whitehall slashes refuse-collection costs
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Owners of Whitehall's nearly 1,500 apartment units will be asked to find their own garbage and recycling collectors next year, in an effort to save the municipality nearly $250,000 annually.
Whitehall Council members last week agreed to exclude apartment units from the borough's next refuse collection contract in a cost-saving effort.
“That's just such a big number,” borough Manager James Leventry said
Whitehall Borough is nearing the end of a five-year contract with Allied Waste, which expires in December. In 2013, the borough will pay $1.1 million for curbside garbage and recycling collection for more than 6,600 residences, Leventry said.
The borough again this year is participating in the South Hills Area Council of Government's joint purchasing alliance, where bids for a new, five-year garbage and recycling provider is being sought. A bid opening is planned for Sept. 25.
Cost for refuse collection is on a per-unit basis, Leventry said. Therefore, eliminating the 1,500 apartment units from the municipality's contract and requiring apartment owners to provide their own service would net a large savings to the community, he said.
Apartments are defined in the contract as a housing area with four or more units.
Some council members raised concerns about the idea of requiring each apartment complex to be responsible for their own garbage collection.
“What enforcement would we have if it's not collected?” Councilwoman Kathy DePuy asked.
“If it becomes a public nuisance, you could cite them,” Leventry answered.
In 2011, Baldwin Borough sent letters to the owners of the borough's more than 1,600 apartment units, stating they were ceasing to provide refuse collection at the housing complexes.
Like Whitehall, Baldwin Borough will eliminate apartment complexes from its refuse collection contract starting next year.
After years of asking Whitehall leaders for assistance during large-scale storms in their neighborhood, residents living on Echo Glen Drive could be getting some municipal help.
Whitehall Council members last week agreed to have Gateway Engineers complete a watershed plan of action and meet with leaders from the South Hills Country Club to look at ways to reduce flooding. The cost of the study is $50,000, borough Manager James Leventry said.
The study will look at all facets of the plan, from the topography to reviewing inlets, ensuring piping is right-sized to handle large-scale storms and determine if retention facilities need added, Leventry said.
“It's been a long time in coming,” borough engineer Ruthann Omer said.
The study could take about six months to complete, Omer said. Upon completion, engineers will make recommendations to borough officials, she said.
Residents Gary and Teresa Brueggman approached council members earlier this month, saying they were concerned the flooding had gotten so bad on their street that it would someday claim a life.
A study is under way in the Doverdell Drive area of Whitehall, where engineers have yet to make recommendations for improvements to borough leaders, Omer said.
Whitehall leaders were inundated with calls from residents who had concerns about flooding in their neighborhood after the storms that hit the area on July 10 and left much of the South Hills underwater.
Whitehall officials received about 100 calls as a result of that storm, and engineers have been visiting every site to review the situation, Omer said. There are about 20 areas left in the 3.2-square-mile town that engineers still need to review before making a recommendation to borough leaders, Omer said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dodgeball tourney benefits Thomas Jefferson prom
- Baldwin police seeking two men suspected in robbery
- Revised housing development plan submitted to Baldwin Borough officials
- Baldwin-Whitehall leaders support student-recognition project
- Whitehall library discussion offers education to parents of autistic children
- New West Jefferson Hills facilities director in place
- Brentwood’s school resource officer a multitask facilitator
- Upgraded menu results in customer satisfaction at Jefferson Hills church’s fish fry
- Baldwin Borough Community Day isn’t what it used to be