Waste Management Contract Update: Year Two

The second year of the Township’s two-year contract with Waste Management will begin  October 1, 2023. The 2-year contract costs for full-service billed on a quarterly basis, as well as Tag-a-Bag service were posted on the Township’s website October 2022.

Due to the lack of participation from those on Tag-a-Bag Service for the first year, Waste Management decided for year two to directly bill customers who chose the Tag-a-Bag Service. Bag tags are no longer available for purchase at the Township office and Waste Management will mail the required 20 tags to residents who signed up for Tag-a-Bag Service with those customers being billed $530.00 ($26.50/tag) for those tags. The Township was not made aware of this decision until recently.

Those on Tag-a-Bag Service requested to be on this plan versus quarterly billing for full-service, therefore they are expected to fulfill their 20-tag purchase obligation. Billing the residents on this plan directly is Waste Management’s solution to ensure residents are abiding by the contract agreement. Please contact Waste Management at 800-642-8850 with any issues regarding billing.

The Township holds a responsibility and obligation to provide a trash hauler for residents under Ordinance #53. This ordinance was set into place for the purpose of taking the responsibility off residents to find a trash hauler themselves, limiting the amount of trash trucks on our Township roads daily, and to protect the environment and local waterways from those who may dispose of their trash in harmful and illegal ways by requiring each household to use the contracted trash services.

The cost of weekly trash/recycling pickup is increasing everywhere; this is not just a Middle Paxton Township issue. Lower Paxton Township’s prices increased from $67 a quarter to $108. Their prices would have been even higher had the Township not agreed to changing to an all-automated trash pickup system requiring residents to use waste toter containers versus bags, as well as taking over all billing for trash services. Derry Township’s trash increase was 89.7% from their previous contract. New Cumberland is seeing an 80% increase. These are just a few examples of the increases that municipalities in Dauphin, Lancaster, and Cumberland Counties are experiencing. Residents should also be mindful that our Township covers over 50 square miles with significantly less population density than the aforementioned municipalities resulting in less customers, but longer travel distances between residences for Waste Management to complete their pickup routes.

Municipalities have no control over the cost of contracted services, nor can we negotiate these numbers. By law, the Township is required to award contracts by competitive bidding and must award the bid contract to the lowest responsible bidder. The bidding process has very specific steps and rules that we legally must follow. Not following the correct steps will cost the Township even more money when fines or other penalties are imposed on us.