During a recent Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting, a former Newtown Supervisor asked “Should Newtown Township contract with one trash company for savings, efficiency, less noise and pollution?”
The discussion (see below) quickly moved on to how some homeowners associations have taken matters into their own hands to reduce costs and reduce noise and other pollution by hiring a single source for trash collection.
Left unanswered, however, was the question about whether it would be a good idea for the township to sign a contract with a single trash company to collect all the trash. Consequently, I decided to host a simple survey to answer a simple question: “Should Newtown Township contract with one trash company?” Respondents could answer “Yes, Definitely”, Definitely, Not”, “Maybe, Depends.” I also encouraged respondents to comment on why they answered they way they did.
If you haven’t yet taken the survey, I invite you to do so now:
Recently, my trash hauler – Waste Management (WM) – switched my schedule from 2 pickups per week (including recyclables EVERY Thursday) to ONCE per week on Tuesday (including recyclables EVERY OTHER Tuesday). Meanwhile, the fee is STILL $90 per quarter! That means my trash pickup costs rose more than 100%!
My HOA was able to work out an agreement with WM AFTER IT THREATENED TO WALK AWAY from servicing our development (Country Bend). WM agreed to charge $90 per quarter versus $48 per month if each resident made a separate deal (how beneficent!). “Keep in mind that the Country Bend Neighborhood Association doesn’t have a contract with WM,” said the HOA president, “each resident has their own separate contact with them. When you make a quarterly payment to WM, you are ‘under contract’ with them for three months. After that time, you are free to switch trash haulers.”
Our HOA informed us that WM and other trash haulers are moving away from residential business and focusing on commercial business where it says it can generate HIGHER PROFITS! Thus, NOW may be a good time for the township to take over trash pickup for ALL residents.
As of 23 February 2024, a total of 92 people (88 Newtown Township Residents and 4 Borough Residents) responded to the survey. About 50 comments were received (see below)! The following chart shows how NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP residents voted.
Comments in Favor
- Strength in numbers should add to bargaining
- Cost would have to be less. Would love to only have unsightly trash cans out one day a week across the township. Efficiency should lower cost and environmental impact and added to property tax minimize regressive impact on lower income residents
- environmental advantages to one trash hauler:
- Increased traffic safety
- Decrease noise levels
- Decreased wear and tear on city streets, which may reduce the assessments to your property for roadway repairs
- Decreased air/noise pollution
- Having experienced one hauler service, we know it is less expensive, more efficient, better for our streets, much quieter and holds the hauler more accountable for service. Make them compete for Newtown's business! PLEASE DO THIS!
- In my neighborhood we have trash collectors almost every day of the week coming through. It would be a pleasure to have just one or two days of those trucks come barreling though. Plus they might even have a good rate if we all agreed to one trash hauler.
- It will reduce traffic, noise and disruption of multiple pickups on the same block. It should lower costs for homeowners.
- Strength in numbers, should be able to reduce everyone's rate.
- Yes, absolutely. The Township can negotiate much better rates and service than any neighborhood or resident. Plus, we limit trash trucks through the neighborhood to 1-2 days a week.
- Having read all the other comments, I do agree with some of the qualifiers:
- The Township would have to be willing and able to take on administrative duties and all complaints.
- The Town is very spread out.
- There is potential for corruption (favoritism, kickbacks, political pressure).
- Rebidding/contract renewal should be at minimum every 2 yrs. if not annually.
- If the HOAs would this on a Master basis (not all the little HOA neighborhood splinters) it would make more geographical sense and accomplish the same goals, but I can't see that happening given the minimal responsiveness and transparency our HOA provides.
- I’m sick of trash cans and trash haulers around nearly every day!
- Some of the "Maybe" comments look like "Yes" to me. People want it but just have questions which need to be answered. What some don't understand is that if a hauler wins the first bid, they don't get to just raise the price later. There should be no guarantee of contract renewal. All companies would get to bid again, including the current contractor. They would have to compete every time a contract was up for renewal. There is a lot to be considered, but I think the Township should give it a try.
- Choice and competition are always better. I don’t need the township negotiating for me as I know what I need. If service aren’t being provided I can switch easily. Some consumers think cheapest no frills is best and others want more customer service. What’s next regulate when Amazon and Fed Ex trucks are allowed. Stay in your lane.
- Competation (sic) is best to produce best service DO NOT TRUST BOSS TO MAKE NO BIASED OPINION
- Concerns about 1 vs 2 weekly pickups, reliability of providers, and customer service responsiveness. These would all need to be addressed. In addition, I prefer to contract with local family owned businesses rather than larger national companies. We have found them to be much more sensitive to customer concerns.
- Hiring a single provider can bring some benefits. But long term competition is good. It empowers people. Giving the township power to hire a single company will if not invite corruption then create a perception of corruption.
- I don’t need the government telling me which trash company I use
- I like choice. I prefer 2 days and not all providers do 2.
- I suppose it would save money and make life quieter, but it would also eliminate competition. As is, we can each choose our provider and switch if we find them unsatisfactory. Also, with a single provider, if they go on strike, the whole township is held hostage and our trash and recycling will just pile up. Happened elsewhere, and happened to me when I lived in Trenton.
- I want to be able to control who my trash/recycling services.
- If it’s not broken why change. Residents have choice to pick provider based on their needs (once or twice a week).
- Not unless its Mcullough and my service is twice a week which I have now
- Things are fine the way they are right now. Don’t fix something that’s not broken.
- When you have issues or are unhappy with a service provider, it is important to have the flexibility to take your business elsewhere. Customer service tends to improve when a provider knows you the consumer has choices.
- As long as the single source trash company selection saves the homeowners money and the company is a top-notch garbage and recycling removal company, I would be in favor of it. I am not confident that the township's selection would be unbiased and based on savings and past performance. That is why my answer is a "maybe".
- Definitely worth looking into
- Depends on cost, efficiency, level of service able to be provided for the cost. Also dependability of company. Live in Newtown Grant - so many different companies and days right now, it's crazy! I would like it if it makes sense with cost, etc. If we have to pay double, wouldn't be worth it.
- Depends on the cost
- Depends on the price. In theory, the township should be able to negotiate a fair price for good service. However in some cases the costs escalate after a short period of time.
- How many companies have the capability to handle pick-up for the whole township? Would it be re-bid every or every other year? Is there a risk of it becoming a monopoly, thereby eliminating price competition? Who would police it? How would it be paid for: taxes or individual billing? In theory, I love the idea, but there are questions. It's been discussed in Newtown Crossing, but so far rejected.
- I do know that Whitehall has taken a lot of business from the local trash haulers. Their equipment/trucks are so large very loud and sometimes leaves debris in the road especially glass. Not impressed with this company at all. I did maintain my McCulloch contract. I’m happy that I did so it depends on which company is the chosen one.
- I live in a condominium with community trash bins and I'm wondering how that would work and how would we continue to make sure that we get the cheapest price available.
- "I would like to see a single hauler in our neighborhood. We currently have three haulers servicing a small group of 13 older homes. We have noisy trucks on our street almost every day! It's a real nuisance.
- Newtown Township covers a really large area so I expect it would be really difficult to get an efficient single hauler to service the entire area. I know some municipalities contract for this service for their residents and bill households for it in their property tax bill. I don't see Newtown Township as "tight" enough of a community for this to work.
- If increase in tax does not exceed what home owners pay privately. There should actually be a savings. Also, it would be great to have one hauler on a specific day coming through our neighborhoods. Currently we see three different haulers coming through on various days. And yes, pollution is a concern.
- If the township does this, the trash fees should be included in municipal taxes. And the township should be the point of contact for residents for trash issues, residents should not be left to fend for themselves with the collection company. Since the township awarded the contract, they should be administering/responsible/accountable for the performance, or lack of, by the waste collection company.
- If there are savings and efficiencies it is worth looking into. Although it would not be good to have a sweet deal the first few years and huge rate increase the next contract.
- It should be a minimum 2 competitors to contract for trash removal.
- To compete and stay on their toes.
- Any issues with one provider would shut down all trash pickups for entire township!
- It will be very difficult to agree upon one trash company as we went through the process in our own neighborhood. While I like the idea of this, I know it will take very careful analysis to make this worthwhile. As well as flexibility should the agreed trash company become less than favorable with their service, cost etc.
- It would depend upon who picks the hauler and if there are any ways for customers to be involved in the process. I live in Newtown Grant and there are trash trucks going through my neighborhood EVERY DAY except Sunday. Not so peaceful but I would be concerned about a monopoly controlling the price of service.
- Only if it reduces cost. Competition tends to keep prices down.
- There are different needs for residents, some older residents go with the company that has smaller bins. Some residents do need more pickups bc more people live in their residence. Can we look to address these reasonable concerns to get more backing from everyone.
- In country bend we have trash pickup from various haulers 4 days a week and the 5th day some trucks use is as a cut through. So we do have trucks 5 days a week going through. I would love to see this work out.
- Thanks for asking and looking at the possibility.
- There would have to be significant cost saving. Think about all the HOA's with multi year contracts. The should focus more other win - win situation like taking back sidewalk maintenance across the township and borough
- Free enterprise consideration. If Newtown Twp. contracts with a firm, am I still free to select a different vendor?
- Depends on costs savings and service. Id be all for it if we get the best price.
Posted on 08 Jun 2023, 01:26 - Category: Survey Results