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Gettysburg may break its trash contract with WM

Only 3 months into its new trash collection contract with Waste Management (WM), so many problems have developed that the borough is considering canceling its contract.

“I feel very comfortable we can prove they have not been responsive and responsible to our residents’ needs,” said Borough Council President Wesley Heyser.

Heyser said in addition to big problems such as the failure to deliver large-scale trash compactors to deal with street trash created on Steinwehr Ave. and Lincoln Square, there was also a “laundry list of residential problems” where WM had not fulfilled its contract.

Council member Chad-Alan-Carr said WM had been given many opportunities to fix the problems but had not. “We’ve given them very specific instructions:  ‘This is what you are not doing. This is the evidence you’re not doing it. Please do it.’  And they still failed. I have heard too many of our residents complain.”

Heyser said WM had failed to collect street trash. “By contract the street cans are to be emptied on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” he said. Heyser said he had seen on Saturday mornings that the waste cans around the square were still full.

“There has been a massive amount of private citizen failures,” said Heyser. “We still have people where they aren’t taking their recycling. Everyone who has residential service is doing their part.  They’re paying their bill; they’re putting their waste out; but WM isn’t doing their job.”

Heyser said that unless things changed quickly the borough would terminate the contract.  He was unsure if the borough would have to rebid the contract or if it could take the second-ranked bid.

“The easiest resolution would be for WM to do what they are supposed to do. But they’re not taking adequate steps to fix things,” he said.

Heyser said there was a probability the borough would be sued if they broke the contract, but that he was willing to take the risk. “This is so critical to the basic operation of the community.  It’s something worth going to the mat for – that people get the services they pay for.”

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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  • I think if the current contract requires a “buy out” and is going to cost the tax payers more money we should live with the original decision and learn to be more diligent in future contracts for products and services. The service level “fix” should not cost the taxpayers additional monies nor should it cost the borough an unnecessary litigation. Ultimately the money to address the situation comes out of taxpayers pockets while taxpayers continue to pay increased rates for garbage removal. Then what happens next year? Increases taxes to cover any litigation/lawsuit?

  • Waste Management is the most expensive of all trash and recycling collectors at least as far as household. I live in Chester County and they were 3 times more expensive than my locally owned trash and recycling company. Don’t know what they told you guys as a Boro, but it’s doubtful if you got the best deal

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