Borough of Carlisle Trash & Recycling 2023-2025

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Borough's Trash and Recycling contract for 2023-2025.
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FAQ last updated on December 5, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

What changes are being made to trash collection in 2023?

Carlisle Borough’s current solid waste and recycling contract expires on December 31, 2022. A new contract, as well as changes to the way you dispose of trash, begins on January 1, 2023. Under this new contract, Waste Connections charges the Borough $75 per residence to pick up trash and recycling and $6.92 per additional tagged bag.

Thus, as of January 1, 2023, the Pay as You Throw Model is eliminated and Borough bags will no longer be used for trash collection. Each week, residents can leave out one bag or reusable container, with a content weight limit of up to 40 pounds. If a resident has more than 40 pounds of trash in a week, they can purchase a tag to attach to additional bags. Residents will provide their own reusable containers and/or bags. Recycling will still be picked up weekly in the current recycling bins or toters and residents can still leave out one bulk item per week.

Waste Connections’ charges for services will be passed on to property owners effective January 1, 2023. This flat fee of $75/quarter (which is what Waste Connections is charging the Borough for collection) will be added to a resident/property owner’s utility bill, along with water, sewer, and stormwater.

**As per the contract, the rate for 2024 is $80.25/quarter and $7.92/bag. In 2025, the rate is $85.86/quarter and $8.92/bag.

I would like to use my own reusable container. What type should I purchase?

Our contract with Waste Connections defines the container as “one constructed of plastic, metal, or fiberglass, having handles of adequate strength for lifting, having a tight-fitting lid, containing no more than 40 pounds of refuse*, and able to be easily handled by one person.” The photo below illustrates examples of acceptable and non-acceptable containers. The Borough recycling toters and bins cannot be used for trash. Waste Connections suggests using a 35 gallon toter or container.

*The 40-pound weight limit applies to the actual trash in the container and does not include the weight of the containers.

examples of trash containers

Am I required to use a reusable container for putting out my trash?

No, you do not have to use a container. Trash can also be placed curbside in a trash bag of your choosing, provided the bag is of sufficient durability.

Are there any changes to recyclable materials beginning in 2023?

Yes. Plastic containers and bottles numbered 1, 2, and 5 will be the only plastics accepted. Other acceptable recyclable materials include colored and clear glass, aluminum, corrugated cardboard, newspaper, steel and bi-metal cans, paper, and magazines as currently allowed.

Will my trash day stay the same under the new contract?

Yes. There are no schedule changes in the new contract.

Can I opt out of the Borough's trash collection service?

No. Chapter 212-4.A of the Code of the Borough of Carlisle requires that occupants living in single or two-family residences or apartments with three units or less must utilize the Borough’s contractor for solid waste and recycling services.

Multifamily dwellings with four or more units must contract with their own waste hauler unless they go through an appeal process to be included in the Borough's program (See Chapter 212-4.B of the Code).

Why can't Waste Connections provide us with containers, similar to the recycling containers residents received at the beginning of the last contract?

If we were to have Waste Connections provide all residences with a trash container, it would have driven up the cost of the overall program.

In addition, given the large variety of residences in the Borough, one standard container would not have worked for everyone. You can pick the size and style of container that best meets your needs, or choose to use a trash bag for collection.

What if I have Borough bags or tags for the current contract left at the end of 2022?

Orange Borough bags & trash tags expire on 12/31/22. Beginning December 12, the Borough will buy back any bags or tags that residents are not expecting to use. Buyback will only occur at Borough Hall.

Special evening hours will be held on January 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on January 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Where can I purchase trash tags for additional bags under the new program?
Tags can be purchased at Borough Hall, Stuart Community Center, online ordering, and over the phone at 717-249-4422 during regular business hours.
Under the new contract, am I able to leave out a bulk item even if I do not have a trash container to set out that week?

Yes. Under the Pay as You Throw system, bulk items were required to have a Borough bag with them because this told the hauler that you participated in the Borough’s trash collection program. Under the new system, your property is billed for the service, so the hauler knows who is participating.

Wasn't recycling free before? I always placed my recycling bin without a trash bag and it was picked up?

The cost to collect recycling was always included in the price of the Borough bag/tag.  Under the current Pay-as-You-Throw system, those who do not purchase bags or tags, but put out recycling are relying on their neighbors who do purchase Borough bags/tags to pay for their recycling service. Your recycling bin was most likely still picked up because the hauler uses two different trucks, one for recycling and one for trash. These two trucks are not running at the same time, so trash bags are often picked up by the time the recycling truck shows up.

Do the costs cover just trash and recycling collection, or are other services being funded by the cost?

Waste Connections charges the Borough $75/quarter and $6.92 per tag for the collection of trash and recycling. This fee only covers collection costs and does not include the cost of other services such as brush collection and operation of the compost facility. Borough staff is currently exploring options for funding these additional services.

Is there assistance available for people who may struggle to pay this new fee?

Yes, by switching to a lump sum fee on a utility bill, we can offer more forms of assistance, which was not possible under the bag system.

There are currently several assistance programs available:
Flexible Payment Agreements: All past-due utility customers are strongly encouraged to contact the Borough's Finance Department during normal business hours at 717-249-4422 to discuss entering into a flexible payment agreement.

Borough of Carlisle Homeowner Public Utility Assistance Program:
This program is designed to provide up to three months of public utility assistance (water, sewer, trash, and stormwater) to low-to-moderate income homeowners. Eligible applicants must be homeowners living in Carlisle, PA with a household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) and have lost household income as a result of COVID-19. Download the Application.

Cumberland County Emergency Rental Assistance Program: This program provides rental households with rent and/or utility assistance (arrears, current, and future) for up to 18 months in 3-month increments. Utilities include electricity, gas, fuel oil, water, sewer, and trash removal. Priority is given to those applicants that are below 50% of the AMI or unemployed for 90 days. Download the Application.

We will also continue to evaluate potential new assistance programs. Look for more information to come on this topic.

How will billing and collection work for multifamily dwellings with three or fewer units?

Property owners will be billed for multifamily dwellings with three or fewer units. For example, if a multifamily dwelling has two units, the utility bill will contain the equivalent charge for two dwelling units and the hauler will be made aware that they should collect two 40-pound bags or the trash from two reusable containers as part of the base service for that address.

I live in a multi-unit residence. What measures can I take to ensure that my trash is picked up and not left curbside if other tenants in the building put more than one container or bag out?
Residents who live in a multi-unit building may want to consider purchasing a reusable trash container rather than using bags. They can mark the trash container with their apartment number and address so the hauler can differentiate between their trash and their neighbor’s trash.
My home is technically a three-unit residence, but we are currently using it as a single-family home. My concern is that I will be billed for three separate trash accounts. How can I make sure this does not happen?

The process for billing for trash service follows Cumberland County's Property Assessment Data. If the County determines the residence is a three-unit, then the fee would be issued for each of the units. If your property is incorrectly listed as three units, there is a way to correct this and ensure that you are billed based on how you actually use the property. You will need to file a request with the County for a change in your assessment information to a single residence, which should provide you savings in your quarterly billing.

The Cumberland County Assessment Office can tell you how your property is listed and help change assessment information if necessary. They can be reached at 717-240-6350.


We are seasonal residents of Carlisle and are only here for six months. Will we have to pay the full price per quarter for trash services even though we will not be using them?

Seasonal residents will continue to receive a utility bill for services unless utilities are terminated.  Termination is done through the Borough’s Finance Department requesting that water be terminated.  By terminating water service, other utilities including sewer, and trash will be automatically terminated. 

How many bids did you receive for this contract?

Only our current provider, Waste Connections, opted to bid on the contract. Two contractors cited the distance of the Borough to their facilities as being too far to provide a competitive bid, while the other contractor indicated they only submit bids in municipalities where they can use automated collection services. 

Why do North Middleton Township residents only pay around $40 per quarter for their trash and recycling?

North Middleton Township last bid solid waste and recycling services in early 2018, before the United States recycling market collapsed. The cost to provide solid waste and recycling services is now much higher than it was in early 2018.

Municipalities that have gone out to bid for trash services in 2022 have seen significant increases in their program rates. Middlesex Township bid in January of 2022 and their rates increased 47.9%, while Shiremanstown Borough bid in February 2022 with a 127.5% increase in their quarterly fee.

Is there anything the Borough can do to avoid even larger price increases in future contracts?

Borough staff will be researching the cost and resources associated with bringing trash and recycling collection in-house to potentially control costs.

Carlisle Borough Committed to Excellence In Community Service
Carlisle Borough 53 West South Street + 717 249 4422 Mon-Fri: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM