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W-B Twp. lists possible alterations

Changes may be made in collection of trash, recycling. Sewer tax may be doubled.

WILKES-BARRE TWP. – The 2009 budget will not be unveiled until Nov. 10, during a special meeting, but residents learned of some possible changes in the township during a work session Monday.

Mayor Carl Kuren said the township was considering a four 35-gallon-bag limit for residents, with extra bags each requiring a $2.50 sticker. Trash collection in the township is currently unlimited, a fact that in the past has prompted council to ask whether the service was being abused.

In addition, the township will look at either providing a free Dumpster in a fenced-in area and allowing residents to dump their own materials during open hours and having a formal collection once a month, or charging $25 and having pickup on demand.

The current trash collection system is being undertaken by J.P. Mascaro & Sons, under a contract that ends in December. Council is looking at possibly having the next contractor also collect commingled recycling, as that now has to be collected as part of the municipal recycling program, township administrator Michael Revitt said.

If that turns out not to be cost-effective, then the township will collect the commingled items along with the newspaper and cardboard currently collected, he said.

The collections for those would be twice monthly, Revitt said.

In addressing a change to the township’s sewer tax, which is possibly set to double from $84 a year to $168, Revitt said it was unlikely the introduction of a sewer shutoff ordinance would solve the problem created by revenue shortfalls.

Even if the 50 residents outstanding on their bills were compelled to pay up, the amount generated would still only be about $5,000 a year, far below what’s needed to cover repair costs throughout the system, he said.

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