Jeannette weighs privatizing trash pickup
The City of Jeannette is considering hiring a private firm to collect garbage but faces a legal roadblock with the union that represents its six sanitation workers.
Council has been barraged with complaints from residents who now must use garbage bags they purchase from the city if they want their trash collected each week. The sale of bags has earned the city more than $32,000 so far this year, according to a budget report.
Council voted Wednesday to solicit proposals from waste haulers to take over the service. But before it can abolish the sanitation department, Jeannette will have to negotiate with Teamsters Local 30, said city attorney Scott Avolio.
A provision in the union contract known as a “bargained for work” clause means the city cannot hire a third party and eliminate service without consulting with the union because outsourcing jeopardizes the employees' jobs, he said. The city approved a new contract with the Teamsters two months ago.
Two years ago, a state consultant recommended the city hire a private company, but council rejected the recommendation. The city's precarious financial position is forcing council to reconsider.
Avolio said a private company could hire some or all of the city's employees, whose city jobs would be eliminated. Employees who are not hired by the contracted company could be transferred to the public works department to work on the road crew.
Garbage collection has been an important source of revenue for Jeannette.
Councilman Bill Bedont said the city is owed $250,000 in unpaid bills and has hired a private firm to go after the deadbeats. City Treasurer Sam Casino, who now collects garbage fees, said after the employee assigned the task retired in 2009, council eliminated the position.
He said the city's efforts to collect overdue bills “fell by the wayside.”
“We give them delinquent lists every month,” Casino said.
Starting in July, the penalty for delinquent garbage bills will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent, he said.
The budget for sanitation this year is more than $556,000. The two biggest expenses are wages and landfill fees, according to a financial report. Wages have cost the city more than $59,000 so far, and landfill fees have topped $52,000.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at email@example.com.
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.
- Corbett rips Wolf tax proposals during Hempfield campaign stop
- Former Penn-Trafford student put on house arrest for drug sales
- One-day lane restrictions set on Route 30 in North Huntingdon
- Laurel Mountain ski plan needs more information, planners say
- Ligonier Township zoning officer resigns
- Greater Latrobe teachers, school board approve 5-year contract
- Greensburg driver charged after ATV struck on rail tracks
- Ligonier Township wants more info on cell tower proposal
- House 58th District seat candidates focus on education, taxes
- Rostraver woman, 91, injured in home invasion; 3 sought
- Latrobe Municipal Authority appeals DEP order