GARBAGE COLLECTION – MUNICIPALITY OF BETHEL PARK (YEARS 2019 – 2023)
1. Trash Collection– Bethel Park will start using Automated Trash Collection instead of manual collection beginning on April 1, 2019.
2. Yard Waste – A special collection vehicle will be located at the Public Works Building once per month from April – September for yard waste drop-off instead of picking up curbside the 3rd Saturday each month.
3. Leaf Waste – Curbside leaf waste pick-up will increase to 8 times per year, once in the spring and 7 times in the fall.
4. Contractor – Waste Management was awarded the new contract and will begin services January 1, 2019.
5. Recycling – The type of items a resident can recycle will be reduced.
What is Automated Trash Collection?
• Automated trash collection is a type of garbage collection completed by the use of an arm on the truck instead of manually loading trash into a truck.
• Automated trash collection for Bethel Park will begin on April 1, 2019.
• Each resident will receive one – 96 gallon automated trash container in late March 2019.
• A resident will be able to purchase additional containers for a fee of approximately $55 after April 1, 2019.
• If you believe a 96 gallon container is too large, you can contact the Municipality at 412.831.6800 X 130 and request a smaller sized container. We will also have request sheets at the Community Center and Municipal Building beginning October 1, 2018. We will take requests for smaller containers until December 31, 2018. The alternate sized containers are 65 gallon and 35 gallon. Sample containers will be available to view at the Community Center and Municipal Building.
What are the Recycling Changes?
• Bethel Park is retaining manual recycling. There will be no changes in the containers or method used to collect recyclables.
• The only materials that can be recycled are Type 1 (PET) plastic, Type 2 (HOPE) plastic, tin cans, aluminum cans, newspaper, mixed paper, and corrugated cardboard.
• All other items including Types 3 – 7 plastics and glass are no longer recyclable.
• The recycling changes are due to high levels of contamination in recycled materials nationwide. This contamination includes garbage items comingled with recyclable materials.
Why did Bethel Park make these changes?
1. Automated Trash Collection
• Automated Trash collection will help enhance the look ofthe Community by having uniform trash containers and eliminate a majority of bagged trash that is put curbside.
• Bethel Park will save the tax payers approximately $600,000 over the five year contract by conducting Automated Trash collection instead of manual trash collection.
• Bethel Park code requires garbage to be placed in watertight plastic or metal containers. Automated trash containers will assist residents in complying with this code.
2. Yard Waste
• Only a very small number of residents were utilizing the curbside Yard-Waste pick-up services on the 3rd Saturday of the month.
• Bethel Park will save the tax payers over $2,000,000 over the five year contract by conducting Yard Waste collection at the Public Works Building instead of curbside.
3. Leaf Waste
• Due to the elimination of Yard Waste curbside pick-up, we added an additional curbside leaf collection event in the spring.
• Waste Management was the lowest bidder on the contract.
• The recycling changes affect all 19 Municipalities that fall under the SHACOG waste contract. These recycling problems will affect numerous Municipalities and businesses nationwide.
Recycling to Change in 2019 FAQs and Answers
Why do we need to change our recycling process?
Bethel Park along with 18 other SHACOG (South Hills Council of Governments) municipalities bid jointly for waste hauling, including recycling. There were three bidders for the five-year contract that will go into effect in January 2019. All bidders indicated they would no longer accept plastics numbered 3-7 or glass of any kind as part of the recycling collection.
For years, we have been asked to recycle as much as possible to keep materials out of landfills. Why recycle less?
The market has changed; some materials that previously were recycled and turned into useful things are no longer of value in large quantities. Even more important, contamination has become a huge problem. The Pacific Rim nations that typically buy our recyclables will no longer accept loads containing more than ½ percent (0.5%) contaminated material. Ships with contaminated materials exceeding that threshold are being turned away, with the materials likely landing in landfills anyway.
What contaminates a load?
Many well-intentioned people do not recycle correctly. Some people will put greasy pizza boxes or dirty containers into the single-stream recycling bin or they throw in prohibited items such as Styrofoam or bottle caps. The biggest contaminant, however, is glass, which can shatter into small shards and ruin an entire load. Shattered glass embeds into other recyclable materials (such as cardboard or paper), making those other items unable to be recycled.
What items will we be able to continue to recycle as usual?
You may continue to recycle aluminum (beverage) cans, clean aluminum foil and bakeware, steel and tin cans (soup, veggie, coffee); corrugated cardboard, office paper, magazines (matte and gloss), junk mail, newspapers, paperboard (cereal type boxes, gray on one side), poly- coated paperboard containers (non-plastic milk and juice containers) and phone books. You also may continue to recycle clean, empty plastic jars, jugs and containers (without lids), but only those with the numbers 1 or 2 on the bottom. Clean is very important, as partially filled soda bottles can contaminate an entire load.
What items that we previously recycled are no longer acceptable?
You may not put glass of any type or color into the recycling bin or plastics 3-7. Plastics 3-7 typically are softer plastics. Plastic grocery bags and plastic trash bags are especially problematic, as they can become entangled with machinery and shut down an entire plant. As a rule of thumb, do not recycle any plastic material that is pliable enough to wrap around your finger. Always check the number on the plastic container before you place it in the recycling bin.
What things have never been accepted for recycling?
The following items have always been banned: food waste, pizza boxes (generally due to grease) paper towels, bathroom trash, yard waste, Styrofoam, light bulbs, window glass, mirrors, batteries, ceramics or dishes, cellphones, computers or electronics, hazardous waste containers, clothing, garden hoses, batteries, or oil containers.
What will happen if residents do not recycle correctly?
Beginning in 2020, the municipality will be charged $150 for every load the recycling plant deems contaminated—a potential penalty to taxpayers of more than $250,000 each year. Residential recycling bins that are clearly contaminated might not be collected.
How will recycling less impact the environment?
Recycling the right way as opposed to recycling more could be beneficial, as much of what people now think is being recycled is going into landfills anyway. People may want to rethink their purchasing habits, choosing items that are packaged in recyclable containers, if possible. Residents should take advantage of special local and regional recycling events and look into other places that accept things such as grocery bags and glass, which cannot be part of curbside single-stream recycling collection. The municipality will investigate alternatives elsewhere in the county as options for people who are willing to transport and drop off items that are not accepted by our hauler.
Where can I get further information?
Please stay tuned to the Bethel Park Chronicles, the municipal website www.bethelpark.net, Bethel Park Facebook page, Verizon cable channels 31 and 32, Comcast cable channels 7 and 17, with additional information over the coming months.
Garbage Can Sizes (Click here to download a garbage can size flyer)
Garbage & Recycling FAQ Printable Flyer
Garbage Can Sizes