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Lansford ends recycling program

Lansford Borough Council has decided to stop the borough’s recycling program to avoid a significant increase in the cost of residents’ garbage bills.

Council met on Wednesday and unanimously approved a five-year, $1.68 million contract with Tamaqua Transfer for weekly trash pickup. The contract takes effect May 1, and Monday will be the last day for curbside recycling pickup.

The trash bill for residents will remain the same: $60 per quarter.

Council President Bruce Markovich said the borough looked at continuing recycling, but it would have required raising a resident’s trash bill by $42 per year.

“I know a lot of people will be disappointed, because they do recycle. It’s just cost prohibitive at this point,” Markovich said.

Tamaqua Transfer, the borough’s existing trash hauler, was the sole bidder on the contract. The previous five-year contract with Tamaqua Transfer expires May 1.

Markovich said it is more expensive for waste haulers to recycle materials than it is to dump them in a landfill. That cost would have been passed onto residents.

Other municipalities including Weatherly have done away with recycling pickup in recent years due to the rising costs.

Markovich said the state should look into new solutions to allow municipalities to continue to offer recycling.

“It’s great to recycle, but it gets to a certain point if there’s no new possible uses for this stuff, what do you do with it?” he said.

In other business

Council awarded a road materials contract to Lehigh Asphalt for $127,580.

Council approved special event permits for a chicken dinner (pickup only) at the Lansford Pool benefiting the Friends of the Lansford Pool on April 26. They also approved special event permits for Music in the Park and the Lansford Ethnic Festival.

Council agreed to look into tablet computers for council members so they can hold remote meetings.