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Schuylkill County News

St. Clair Considering New Trash Rates for Businesses

New rates would be based on number of bags.

St. Clair is considering setting new rates for trash collection for businesses operating in the borough.

At last week’s Work Session meeting of borough council, members discussed the need to better regulate and charge for trash pickup for businesses. 

Some businesses under the current arrangement, they say, are basically getting a pretty good deal when it comes to trash collection, paying a relatively low amount for a high volume of trash.

Council members didn’t come to any formal conclusions on what these new rates would be. However, they did discuss creating 3 different tiers based on the volume of trash a business sets out for pick-up.

It appears council will vote on a new commercial trash hauling fee schedule when it meets again on Tuesday, Feb. 6 for their regular monthly meeting.

According to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, these are the 3 tiers council will vote to approve:

  • 1-3 bags = $32 per month
  • 4-6 bags = $40
  • More than 6 bags = Recommend a dumpster

If approved as proposed, St. Clair would begin this fee schedule starting in March.

Last week, council member Joann Brennan prepared a detailed report for her colleagues at the Work Session and first suggested the tiered system for businesses. 

Residential pick-up rates and volumes would be unaffected by any potential changes made for businesses. 

Brennan shared calculations showing St. Clair pays at least $7,500 per month taking the borough’s trash to the landfill. That doesn’t include the cost of labor to pick up and haul the trash. And it doesn’t include the extra cost of hauling away large items. 

In 2023, Brennan said, St. Clair spent a total of $146,320 on trash collection, both commercial and residential. 

If council does make this change in garbage collection fees, some believe that St. Clair Area School District may opt for a different hauler and it sounds as if there may not be any broken hearts about that.

According to the information shared at last week’s meeting, the school district puts out up to 40 trash bags per day during the week, not including larger items that are getting discarded. 

Council President Tom Dempsey said, “They’ve been getting away with it for years,” referencing the school not paying anything extra for all the trash it puts out for collection. 

Dempsey said he believes the school already has an alternate hauler lined up to pick up its trash if the Council does enact a change for businesses. 

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