A new recycling program might be in the long-term picture for Upper St. Clair residents.
Waste Management, the township’s refuse hauler, has instituted a service for handling hazardous waste, items that are not permitted to be placed with regular refuse or recyclables.
John Despines, a township resident, brought the program to the attention of township commissioners in June 2011. He did so again at Monday’s meeting, presenting them with handouts noting several “talking points” about the program’s benefits.
“There’s no chance of hazardous waste breaking or spilling, because residents will not be transporting their hazardous waste,” Despines told commissioners. “The trouble is, with a lot of this stuff, you can hide it in your trash and it’s really hard to enforce.”
Through the program, residents would arrange for pickup of hazardous items through Waste Management.
The cost to the township would be about $40,000, which Despines said works out to less than $6 per household.
Mark Mansfield, assistant township manager, said the municipal staff has looked into the program and would like to see results about how it fares in communities that have instituted it.
He also said the program will be a component of the township’s next waste-hauling bidding process, which comes up in the summer of 2012. Contracts are negotiated collectively through the South Hills Area Council of Governments, of which Upper St. Clair is a member.
“There are several drop-off programs each year offered throughout Allegheny County,” Mansfield said. “That might not be as convenient as door-to-door service, but the staff at this time believes that the cost doesn’t necessarily justify initiating the program right now.”
Bob Orchowski, president of the board of commissioners, agreed with that assessment.
“On face value, I think it’s a good effort,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re in a position that, even with the great financial management this township has, that $40,000 additional for the budget is a tall order.”