During the June 15th meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council, there was a presentation on trash removal and the plan for the public works department to implement a three-month trial period where trash pick-up will be reduced to one day per week. The trial period is expected to begin in August, but an official announcement has not yet been made. Any permanent change would be made at the beginning of 2023.
Currently, trash is picked up on the east side of the borough on Mondays and Thursdays and on the west side on Tuesdays and Fridays. The test schedule will see it limited to Monday and Tuesday. You can watch the presentation here (33:24).
There is no current proposal to change the Wednesday yard waste pick-up and the once-per-month bulk-item schedule.
During the presentation, Ray Sokolowski, executive director of operations for the borough, shared a slide (pictured above) that outlined the tonnage picked up under the current schedule. It shows that the Thursday and Friday collection days aren’t nearly as heavy as earlier in the week For example, 91.75 tons are collected on average on Mondays. The same route only collects 28.78 tons on Thursdays.
Sokolowski also stated that the public works department currently meets a schedule and overall workload that requires two additional full-time employees. Reducing the trash schedule would help alleviate the need to expand the department.
He also cited the growth in responsibilities that the public works department has taken on in recent years. Both Mary Wood Park and the A. A. Garthwaite Stadium used to be maintained by caretakers who lived on the properties. Now the public works department maintains them.
The borough also now owns the borough hall building at 400 Fayette Street and the Community Center at the Fellowship, which has to be maintained by the public works department, along with 16 other buildings and properties. One specific item mentioned in connection to the number of borough-owned properties is the amount of concrete work needed to maintain the sidewalks, etc.
Also mentioned is that the borough has in recent years begun painting lines for parking spaces throughout the borough. These have to be maintained along with the dividing lines on streets.
The cost of fuel is also impacting the public works budget. The cost for fuel under the current schedule is up 30%. Taking the trash trucks off the street twice a week will help reduce the impact of higher fuel costs.
Note that the large apartment communities and office buildings do not have their trash collected by the borough. However, the increase in cars on the road, etc., does impact borough-owned roads.
Sokolowski stated that he anticipates that some residents will need additional trashcans and that the borough has enough inventory to provide these. He also shared that the department would work with residents hosting events like a graduation party to schedule a special pick-up.
Sokolowski also pointed out that most municipalities in the area already only do one pickup, but cited neighboring Plymouth Township as the rare example of one continuing with a twice-per-week schedule. However, on the agenda for the July 5th meeting of Plymouth Township’s Board of Supervisors, the elected officials will discuss switching to once-per-week.
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