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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default When Can a Local Government Compel Participation in Garbage Collection

    How would I begin researching to discover if the borough that I live in (in the state of PA) can force me to participate in its residential garbage collection?

    I only fill up one bag every 6 weeks or so. I don't generate a lot of garbage, I live alone and I'm not a squanderer, etc; that's just how it is. So I pay a private hauler per bag as needed. Because my borough needs money, they now intend to force every household to pay its yearly garbage pickup fee. It seems to me to be in effect a tax that is being applied unevenly. Participation was previously optional. That means I would be paying 12 ties the amount per bag that's paid by those who put out two bags every week. (Yes, in case anyone is wondering, this comes on top of other unfair apportionments of fees and taxes where I live, especially by the county. I'm getting fed up with it.)

    To forestall replies of 'this is petty', I'll add that there are also a lot of little old ladies in this town who do the same as I - in fact, I originally learned about the private hauler from one of them.

    So, how could I find out if the municipal entity known as a 'borough' in the state of PA does indeed have the power to force residents to pay for garbage collection service? I assume that the state has the power to mandate that, but just maybe the borough does not. I am aware that some powers are explicitly reserved to this state (controlling firearms, e.g.) and some limits are explicitly set upon boroughs (e.g., maximum income tax rates or maximum yearly increases in property taxes).

    If they need more in taxes, then let them raise taxes on everyone instead of this backdoor approach -- making me pay 12x per bag is not being equal. Yes, I know that an argument can be made that every household pays the same fee and it's up to me to use it or not, but the question is: do they have the power or not?

    [I did look for the most appropriate forum to post in and this seems the closest match.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: When Can a Local Government Compel Participation in Garbage Collection

    According to Article II they can.

    http://www.palrb.us/pamphletlaws/190...0/act/0097.pdf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: When Can a Local Government Compel Participation in Garbage Collection

    Per the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, which you can read in HTML format here,
    Quote Quoting Section 304. Powers and duties of municipalities other than counties.
    (a) Responsibility of other municipalities. -- Each municipality other than a county shall have the power and its duty shall be to assure the proper and adequate transportation, collection and storage of municipal waste which is generated or present within its boundaries, to assure adequate capacity for the disposal of municipal waste generated within its boundaries by means of the procedure set forth in section 1111, and to adopt and implement programs for the collection and recycling of municipal waste or source-separated recyclable materials as provided in this act.

    (b) Ordinances .--

    (1) In carrying out its duties under this section, a municipality other than a county may adopt resolutions, ordinances, regulations and standards for the recycling, transportation, storage and collection of municipal wastes or source-separated recyclable materials, which shall not be less stringent than, and not in violation of or inconsistent with, the provisions and purposes of the Solid Waste Management Act, this act and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

    (2) The host municipality shall have the authority to adopt reasonable ordinances concerning the hours and days during which vehicles may deliver waste to the facility and the routing of traffic on public roads to the facility. Such ordinances may be in addition to, but not less stringent than, not inconsistent with and not in violation of, any provision of the Solid Waste Management Act, any regulation promulgated pursuant to that act, any order issued under that act, or any permit issued pursuant to that act. Such ordinances found to be inconsistent and not in substantial conformity with this paragraph shall be superseded. Appeals under this paragraph may be brought before a court of competent jurisdiction.

    (c) Contracting of responsibility.--A municipality other than a county may contract with any person to carry out its duties for the recycling, transportation, collection and storage of municipal waste and source-separated recyclable materials, if the recycling, transportation, collection or storage activity or facility is conducted or operated in a manner that is consistent with the Solid Waste Management Act, this act and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Any such person shall be jointly and severally responsible with the municipality other than a county when carrying out its duties for transportation, collection or storage activity or facility.

    (d) Designated sites. -- A municipality other than a county may require by ordinance that all municipal waste generated within its jurisdiction shall be disposed of or processed at a designated permitted facility. Such ordinance shall include an ordinance that is part of a plan approved under section 501(b). Such ordinance shall remain in effect until the county in which the municipality is located adopts a waste-flow control ordinance as part of a plan submitted to the department pursuant to section 501(a) or (c) and approved by the department. Except as provided in section 502(o), any such county ordinance shall supersede any such municipal ordinance to the extent that the municipal ordinance is inconsistent with the county ordinance.

    (e) Term and renewals of certain contracts. -- The governing body of a municipality other than a county shall have the power to, and may, enter into contracts having an initial term of five years with optional renewal periods of up to five years with persons responsible for the collection or transportation of municipal waste generated within the municipality. The limitations imposed on contracts by section 1502 (XXVII) of the act of June 24, 1931 (P.L.1206, No.331), known as The First Class Township Code, and section 702 (VIII) of the act of May 1, 1933 (P.L.103, No.69), known as The Second Class Township Code, shall not apply to contracts entered into pursuant to this act. Nothing in this act shall impair municipalities, other than counties, from entering into disposal contracts under section 502(o).

    (f) Report. -- On or before February 15 of each year, each municipality other than a county that is implementing a recycling program shall submit a report to the county in which the municipality is located. The report shall describe the weight or volume of materials that were recycled by the municipal recycling program in the preceding calendar year.

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