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New Salisbury trash collection schedule brings citizens’ concerns

With the arrival of 2021, a new refuse and recycling collection contract is in effect in Salisbury Township and with it, changes in the trash collection schedule.

While the trash contract was approved by the township board of commissioners late last year, some of the changes apparently have not gone into effect at the start of the new year.

That was to be expected, according to township officials.

“We’re talking of some substantial changes. We’ll probably roll this into 2021,” Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich said at the Dec. 10, 2020 commissioners’ meeting when a new trash collection contract with Republic Services was approved.

Saturday trash pickup has been eliminated.

Trash pickup is now Monday through Friday.

Trash pickup is twice per week and recycling pickup is once per week.

A new service provides pickup of household electronics and hazardous waste. Items will be picked up at a residence’s front door, to be arranged by a phone call to Republic Services.

Township officials said at meetings in December 2020 notification of the days of trash pickup Monday through Friday would be handled by Republic. This includes the announcement of a new pickup day to replace the elimination of Saturday pickup.

As of Jan. 2, some residents whose trash pickup was scheduled for Saturday reported to The Press they have not received notification of what day will replace the Saturday pickup.

Concerns about trash pickup were expressed on an area social media site.

Refuse and recycling rates were approved at the Dec. 22, 2020 commissioners’ meeting.

By a unanimous 5-0 vote, on a motion made by board Vice President Rodney Conn and seconded by Commissioner Heather Lipkin, a resolution to increase the refuse and recycling rates effective Jan. 1 was approved at $93 per unit per quarter or $372 annually.

The 2020 township trash collection rate was $68 per quarter per unit or $272 annually.

The higher rate for refuse and recycling collection services reflects the new contract with Republic Services, according to township officials.

The increase also reflects the added service of front-door pickup of electronic equipment to be recycled, officials said.

The approximate $5-million trash contract with Republic Services is for three years: 2021, 2022 and 2023, with a possible renewal in 2024 and 2025.

The municipal solid waste and recycling contract was awarded to Republic Services at the Dec. 10, 2020 township meeting.

The elimination of Saturday trash pickup was seen as a cost-savings measure.

“This will allow us to save money because the trash haulers must pay overtime and it’s difficult to get workers for the weekend,” board of commissioners President Deb Brinton said at the Dec. 10, 2020 meeting.

Lipkin made the motion, seconded by Conn, to bring the motion on the trash contract with Republic Services to a vote, which was approved unanimously 5-0 at the Dec. 10, 2020 meeting.

Township commissioners prohibit the public and media from attending their meetings in person due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Dec. 22. 2020 and Dec. 10, 2020 meetings were held in the “hybrid-virtual manner,” whereby commissioners and township officials convened in the municipal building meeting room and the public and media participated by preregistering on the township website for the Zoom online meeting platform accessed from electronic devices or computers.

The December 2020 meetings were held in this format because of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and the Commonwealth Department of Health directives Dec. 10, 2020 ordering indoor gatherings limited to 10 or fewer persons because of the coronavirus pandemic surge.

The restrictions, which went into effect Dec. 12, 2020, expired 8 a.m. Jan. 4. However, limitations on the number of persons allowed at indoor gatherings remain in effect.

The township board of commissioners is next scheduled to meet 7 p.m. Jan. 14 in the municipal building meeting room, 2900 S. Pike Ave. Township officials may attend in person. The public and media are to preregister to view and hear the meeting via the Zoom format.

Township commissioners are also to meet 7 p.m. Jan. 28, again in the municipal building meeting room with the public and media preregistering via Zoom.

A similar format is expected for the township planning commission, 7 p.m. Jan. 12, in the municipal building meeting room, with the public and press participating via Zoom preregistration.

A similar format was expected for the township zoning hearing board, 7 p.m. Jan. 5, in the municipal building meeting room, with the public and press participating via Zoom preregistration.

The township environmental advisory council is expected to continue meeting via the Zoom format, 7 p.m. Jan. 20, for which preregistration is required.

The township recreation advisory committee is scheduled to meet 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 in the municipal building meeting room. The format is uncertain based on information on the township website as of the deadline for this article.