Frequently Asked Questions

Trash & Recycling Program Changes

What changes are being made to trash and recycling collection in 2020?
  • New Waste Hauler: Waste Connections, Inc.
  • New Bag Price: $5.85/Bag
  • New Bag Color and Design: Orange with honeycomb reinforcement
  • New Recycling Container: Delivery Anticipated April 2020
Why is the bag color changing?
The trash and recycling disposal service charge increased significantly under the new contract. Due to the increase in costs to dispose of trash and process recycling, the costs for trash bags rose by $2.10. Green Borough trash bags paid for the cost of service through December 31, 2019. Orange Borough trash bags pay for the cost of trash/recycling services effective January 1, 2020
Why didn't the Borough give residents a grace period to use old bags?
The Borough asked its new trash hauler to continue picking up green bags until January 13, 2020 in order to give residents ample time either to use their inventory of green bags or to exchange the green bags for orange bags even though the cost of the service went into effect on January 1, 2020
I have leftover green bags. Why can't I use them after January 13?
Green trash bags paid for the cost of trash/recycling services through December 31, 2019. If you were to continue to use the green bag after that date, you would not being paying for the cost of the service while others who used orange bags would be paying.
What should I do with my unused green bags?
If you have unused green Borough bags, you can exchange them for new orange ones and paying the $2.10 price difference. Exchange locations: Carlisle Borough Hall, 53 West South Street and the Stuart Community Center, 415 Franklin Street.
Why change recycling containers?
Throughout the past years, we have received numerous complaints from residents stating that the current container is either not large enough and/or recycling tends to be strewn throughout the neighborhood on windy days. We also received complaints from our hauler regarding residents placing their recyclables in items not designated for recycling (i.e. clothesbaskets, oil changing pans, wastebaskets, cardboard boxes, etc.) During our pre-bid meetings with trash haulers, we discussed various options to address these challenges and ultimately decided on larger recycling container(s) with attached lid(s). Currently, the Borough has 35-gallon wheeled recycling toters in place for delivery and is exploring a smaller recycling bin with a hinged lid for those properties where a wheeled toter is not practical. Look for more information to come over the next two months.
What do I do with my old recycling bin?
The 18-gallon green recycling bins are marked as #2 plastic on the bottom and are recyclable. Before you recycle your bins, consider repurposing your old bins. They are great for storing clothes or holiday decorations. They can even work as planters for your backyard. If you would prefer to recycle your bin, you can place it curbside for recycling collection after your new bin arrives. Please place a note on your bin indicating you would like the hauler to recycle it.
Is my trash pick-up day changing with this new contract?
Collection days are currently remaining the same under the new contract. However, the time of day may vary depending on the hauler’s discretion.
Can I still leave out one bulk item per week?
Yes. Residents who participate in the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) system are permitted to dispose of one bulk item per week. Bulk items, are considered items that are too large to fit into a Borough bag. These items must be placed curbside along with your filled orange trash bag(s).
Are there any changes to recyclable materials beginning in 2020?
Yes. Plastic containers and bottles #1, #2, #5, and #7 will be the only plastics accepted.
The acceptable recycling materials are as follows:
  • Aluminum & Steel Cans (Clean & Dry)
  • Paper (Clean & Dry)
  • Glass Bottles (Clean & Dry)
  • Cardboard (Clean & Dry; Must be tied/bundled; Broken down to no larger than 2’x2’ or small enough to fit in your recycling bin)
  • Plastic Containers & Bottles #1, #2, #5, and #7 (Clean & Dry) 
Examples of plastics accepted:
Plastic Containers
Why such a large increase in bag costs?
Recycling used to be considered a free service, but that is not the case any longer. As we have been reporting in the Gazette, on social media, on our website, and throughout national and local news reports, the recycling industry has drastically changed over the course of the past several years. Given the global market’s drastic decline and acceptance of U.S. recyclables, communities across the country are now faced with recycling costs versus a free service. Our waste hauler had been paid at one point $20/ton for Carlisle’s recycling by the recycling facility. That same recycling facility now charges our hauler $80/ton to process the recycling materials and if it is found to contain contamination, they get charged approximately $100/ton to dispose the material. Labor costs have also risen significantly within the industry, due to greater competition for CDL drivers. This has driven up the costs of waste collection, not only in the Borough but also throughout the region and nationally.
How did you decide what company receives the contract?
The Borough is required by state law to bid contracts and then award them to the lowest responsible bidder. Borough staff met with waste service companies throughout 2019 to review the Borough’s solid waste and recycling practices, explore available options, and solicit 3-year bids. The Borough also secured bids for the orange trash bags.
Did the Borough consider options besides PAYT?
When initially going out to bid for the new contract, Borough staff requested several options, including lump-sum quarterly billing and a hybrid system of PAYT bags and quarterly lump-sum billing. However, contractors did not bid on the options, so the bids were rejected. Before rebidding, Borough staff held an additional pre-bid meeting with haulers to glean input into what alternatives would be feasible. After rebidding, the lowest bids received were Waste Connections for the PAYT system at a 2020 charge of $5.68/bag and Advanced Disposal for the 2020 lump-sum charge of $62.43 per quarter.
Why didn't Borough Council choose the quarterly system? At $63.43/quarter, it is cheaper even if you only use one bag a week.
When deciding between the two options, the Borough chose the PAYT system in part because the flat fee option would have increased costs as much as 460% or more for some residents. The bag system increases costs by 56%, but those residents who put out the average of 10 bags a quarter or less see a much larger increase under the quarterly system.
PAYT is also considered a more equitable and fair system. It is structured like a utility such as electric or gas; residents only pay for the waste they generate. Under this system, residents have increased control over their trash costs. Those who choose to reduce their trash and recycle more will pay less than those who do not. Additionally, the PAYT system reduces waste generation anywhere from 25% to 50%, meaning less waste gets contributed to landfills.
When will the Borough seek a new contract?
The current contract with Waste Connections is for the 3-year period from 2020 through 2022, so the Borough will be seeking new bids in 2022. Typical waste service contracts are for a 3 to 5 year period due to the amount of investment the service company must make in capital equipment. The Borough selected the shorter time period given the changing nature of the world-wide recycling market and the potential impact on prices.
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Carlisle Borough 53 West South Street + 717 249 4422 Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 4:30pm