Trash & Recycling Program Survey Results

2014 Refuse & Recycling Blank Survey Trash & Recycling Survey Summary of Results 2014 Total Trash & Recycling Survey Results Perkasie Borough started a Pay-As-You-Throw trash and recycling program on January 4, 1988. Prior to this date, trash was collected by municipal employees with a quarterly fee charged to each household at a flat rate.   Trash is still collected by municipal employees, but each bag of trash must be in special borough bags that can be purchased at many area stores, with grocery stores selling the largest number. The area stores sell the bags as a community service and make no profit on the sales. Large bags with a maximum capacity of 40 pounds currently sell for $3.25 and the smaller bags with a maximum capacity of 20 pounds cost $2.25. There is an annual fee of $12 (for the year 2014) charged to all households.  Owners of apartment buildings with 4-9  units can choose to participate in the Borough’s program or outsource to another hauler (to receive exemption from the annual fee, the property owner of these apartments must submit a copy of the invoice from their hauler showing that trash and recycling services are being provided privately). Apartment buildings with more than nine units must contract with a private hauler to provide both trash and recycling services for their occupants.   The bags are priced to cover the actual cost of trash removal by the Borough including employee salaries, transportation costs and landfill fees. Prices have increased six times since the inception of the new program in 1988.   This type of program has the following benefits:  
    • Each household pays for the amount of trash it accumulates and places curbside for collection. Thus a residence where only one person resides will pay significantly less than a family of five.
 
    • There is a cost incentive to recycle. The more trash averted from the landfill, the lower resident trash removal costs.
 
    • There are less administrative costs as there is no monthly billing.
  Perkasie Borough is divided into four sectors for trash collection with each sector having trash picked up curbside once a week. Commingled glass, aluminum, tin and plastic containers are picked up curbside on Fridays. Curbside collection of newspaper and cardboard is done Borough-wide once a month.   There is no limit to the number of Borough trash bags placed for collection each week. However, each bag may not exceed the pound limit and the bags will not be collected if left open. Bulk trash is considered any item that will not fit into a trash bag. There is a limit per household of one appliance or the equivalent of a large appliance to be placed curb-side along with regular trash each week . For instance, a mattress and box spring may be set out for collection at the same time. A couch and love seat would take two weeks to have removed.   Motorized appliances that might contain PCB require a bulky sticker for removal. The sticker can be purchased at Perkasie Borough Hall for $10.00. Any item that contains Freon will not be collected by municipal employees as state certification is needed for the handling of this substance. This restriction includes refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers. To date, no municipal employees are certified. Residents are referred to a local clean up service or to local appliance dealers.   As stated above, glass, aluminum, tin, plastic containers, newspaper and cardboard are collected curbside on scheduled days. These items may also be brought to the Recycling Center located behind the Police Department. The center is monitored to be sure that only Borough residents are using the facility and to guide residents in proper recycling procedures.   Curbside leaf collection has been provided to Borough residents for many years. It is still provided today as part of the Borough’s recycling efforts. For approximately six weeks in October and November, leaves are picked up at the curb throughout the Borough. There is also one collection done in the spring.   The leaf collection schedule is advertised in local newspapers prior to the first pick up date. Municipal employees pick up the leaves and deliver them to several locations just outside the Borough limits. Local farmers use the leaves for mulching fields and a local landscape supply company uses them in the making of mulch.   The Borough provides brush chipping, by appointment, once a month. Residents are asked to call 48 hours in advance of the scheduled chipping day, giving their name and address. Procedures for preparing the brush for chipping, and maximum amount limits are explained to residents when they call for an appointment. The Borough’s electric crew chips on-site then delivers the chips to a certified facility for reuse. On occasion, the Public Works crew mulches some of the brush chips along with leaves collected in the parks using a tub grinder purchased with Department of Environmental Protection grant funds.   Christmas tree collection takes place each year during the first three weeks of January. These trees are also added to the mulch at this time.   Perkasie Borough’s Public Works Department maintains the trash and recycling program including the Recycling Center. This is along with their other duties that include maintenance of all public rights-of-way and Borough-owned property. This Department consists of one superintendent, one foreman, 8 full-time workers and 1 part-time worker.   The recycling rate has been as high 49% during the program’s 18 years. The 2013 recycling rate was 38.0%.   There have been problems that needed to be addressed throughout the pay-as-you-throw program:  
    • There are times when it has been difficult to find markets for the recyclables. Often, when a market is found, the traveling is extensive or revenues are low. There are many times when the Borough has had to pay to have recyclables taken. This has often been the case for newspaper and cardboard.
 
    • Non-residents had used the Recycling Center that was once a 24-hour facility. The center is now open during specific hours and monitored for most of the hours of operation.
 
    • The Recycling Center, being unattended most of the time when open 24 hours, became messy and took a good deal of time to maintain. This also opened the door for people placing non-recyclables at the Recycling Center when it is not being monitored. Limiting hours and monitoring the center have corrected these problems.
 
    • At the time of inception, the program motivated some residents to burn trash that often included garbage, including disposable diapers and plastic. There was a no-burning ordinance on the books that once enforced seemed to solve the problem.
  Perkasie Borough considers this Pay-As-You-Throw program a success as determined by the percentage of trash being diverted from the waste stream and because costs for the program have almost always been covered by bag fees, bulky sticker sales, and a low annual fee. With the addition of the low annual fee, the program now covers its own capital expenses, including the purchase of all trash trucks.   Perkasie has been fortunate to receive grant funds for many of the larger equipment purchases needed to maintain and upgrade the trash and recycling program. Grant funds have been used to purchase self-dumping hoppers, a recycling trailer, a brush chipper and a tub grinder. The Borough hopes to purchase a new tub grinder in conjunction with Quakertown Borough with a grant from the Act 101 program.   For a copy of Borough ordinance #598, go to Trash Collection Ordinance. For a copy of the current Trash and Recycling brochure, go to 2016 Trash Brochure.