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Household hazardous waste collection part of borough's new garbage contract

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Baldwin Borough residents soon could have an easy way to dispose of those old paint cans, bulky televisions and containers of antifreeze that have been sitting in the back of the garage for years.

Borough officials plan to add a household hazardous waste program to the town's next garbage and recycling contract that will provide at-their-door collections of many of those hard to dispose of items, they said.

“We've been getting so many calls about things like this,” borough Manager John Barrett said.

Before there was never an easy answer. Sometimes it came with letting water sit in paint cans for days until the containers were empty and able to be disposed of with regular garbage, the manager said.

Even with the added service, Baldwin Borough likely will save as much as $250,000 annually on garbage and recycling collections for the next five years after the municipality eliminated collection from the towns more than 1,000 apartment units for the next contract.

Baldwin Borough Council is set to vote on awarding a new five-year contract for garbage and recycling collections at their meeting next Tuesday.

Baldwin Borough participated in the South Hills Area Council of Governments joint-purchasing alliance. Representatives from both Waste Management, where the borough has contracted services from for the last five years, and Republic Services were present at a council meeting Tuesday seeking the borough's contract for services starting in January.

Baldwin officials likely will switch to billing on a per-ton basis starting next year, Barrett said. That was the cheaper option, with the borough spending $1,122,720 in 2014 on garbage and recycling with a contract through Waste Management, which Barrett said is the lowest bidder for that option. The household hazardous waste program would cost an additional $34,728 in 2014 through Waste Management.

Republic's prices are $1,131,355 for trash and recycling for 2014 with an extra $91,161 for the hazardous collections, according to Barrett's calculations.

Baldwin budgeted $1,393,293 for garbage and recycling collections in 2013.

“We're looking at a good savings to the borough,” he said.

For the hazardous waste program, fliers would be distributed to all residents in the borough explaining the program, said Mike Christ, of Waste Management public sector services.

A resident who would have an item for pick-up, starting next year, would either go online, call an 1-800-number or send an email to request an appointment.

A bag would be mailed to the home that the item in need of disposal would be placed in, Christ said. Then, it would be picked up from the front door of a person's home.

This is one of many new options explored in the SHACOG purchasing alliance this year.

Communities across the region also looked at automated collection, where uniform collection bins would be distributed to each home and a garbage truck with a mechanical arm would be used to allow the driver to stay in the truck.

Baldwin's bids for automated collections came in higher than the bids for traditional collections, Barrett said.

Christ said that was because the municipality would pay for the identical bins for each home during their initial contract for automated collections.

With on-street parking in Baldwin, automated collection had its downfalls, Barrett said.

Other communities in the South Hills are looking at that option, said Lisa McNeight, segment director, east for Waste Management public sector solutions.

“This is the first time SHACOG has explored so many options,” she said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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