Petersburg Pilot -

Recycling petition withdrawn: Cart program slated to roll out this fall

 


A petition to retain the blue bags as part of the Borough’s curbside recycling program has been withdrawn by its sponsor Angela Davis and 13 co-sponsors, bringing to an end a several months long debate about the future of recycling collection in Petersburg.

Davis submitted the withdraw in a letter to the Borough dated April 23. In it she wrote, “In light of the approval of resolution #2015-09…I do not feel that it is in the best interest of the community to have increased garbage rates and to have two competing recycling programs.”

The resolution accompanying Davis’ petition focused on retaining the contracted blue bag collection system. The Assembly voted on the resolution at its April 20 meeting, though a clause was added allowing for a simultaneous cart-based collection system run by Borough staff. Under the resolution, sanitation customers participating in the recycling program would choose which collection system they wanted to participate in, and the blue bag contractor would be paid based on the number of blue bag participants.

At Monday’s regular meeting, Assembly members unanimously approved a resolution to move forward with a borough-run, cart-based recycling program, echoing their March 16 decision. Public Works Director Karl Hagerman projects that bringing the collection in-house will help his department build its reserves to over $500,000 by fiscal year 2020. This would bring the sanitation fund into compliance with the Borough’s budget policy which establishes that enterprise funds should have reserves equal to at least six months of operating expenses.

A new collection truck and the 96-gallon rolling carts will be purchased as part of the new program. The truck has been ordered, but Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht said Monday that they’re still awaiting a delivery date. Hagerman has applied for a grant to cover the cost of the carts. A decision on the grant is expected by May 15. The cart program is slated for a September or October roll out.

 

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