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Easton officials say trash, recycling rates could rise substantially in 2024

Brian Myszkowski
Easton City Council approved two resolutions for solid waste and recycling during Wednesday's meeting, but an upcoming contract for hauling could lead to rate increases for city residents.

  • Easton City Council approved contracts for trash and recycling collection at Tuesday's meetings
  • Figures for both contracts showed increases in overall tonnage costs
  • Several Easton authorities confirmed a soon-to-be-finalized hauling contract may lead to significant cost increases for residents

EASTON, Pa. — With new contracts for trash and recycling pickup in Easton confirmed, residents may be facing a significant increase in costs once transportation for waste is settled.
Easton’s City Council passed two resolutions with three successive one-year contracts connected to trash and recycling pickup during Wednesday’s meeting, with 2024 rates confirmed at $59.50 per ton and $145 per ton, respectively. Waste Connections will handle solid waste while Waste Management will handle recycling.

While both figures are relatively mild increases, the real impact on residents will stem from negotiations concerning waste and recycling transportation.

Director of Public Services David Hopkins said costs for the solid waste contract increased by about 7.2% and recycling went up in excess of 20%, but once the resolution on transportation and collections is adopted, 2024 rates could jump – although “it is uncertain and part of the budget.”

“In our preparation of our budget for next year, just know that the trash contracts are extremely high. And we're seeing this throughout the country, mostly, definitely throughout the Valley."
Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr.

Additional changes may also be in the works as the city finalizes a bid with a new contractor.

“It basically doubled,” Hopkins said in regard to the collection and transportation contract. “We did open bids… we haven't awarded the contract officially, but we're meeting next week to go over it with our new hauler. If City Council approves, it'll be Whitetail Disposal. We've had Republic as our hauler since 2007, so there'll be a bit of a transition and, you know, we're still talking about whether the schedule might change too.”

Hopkins said the cost of the hauling contract would effectively amount to over $1 million.

“Everyone's hauling contracts are increasing. It's just the cost of labor, fuel, you know, all that stuff on there,” Hopkins said.

Earlier on in the meeting, during the mayor’s report, Sal Panto Jr. was blunt in his message about the increased rates.

“In our preparation of our budget for next year, just know that the trash contracts are extremely high. And we're seeing this throughout the country, mostly, definitely throughout the Valley,” Panto said.

Councilmember Dr. Roger Ruggles and City Administrator Luis Campos provided some context to the issue as well.

“They’re extremely high [compared] with what we had in the past, but they’re not extremely high compared to other municipalities,” Ruggles said.

“The current rate that we charge the residents is not as high as the rate that the adjacent municipalities are charging their residents,” Campos said, adding a comparison of tonnage and labor costs for those municipalities would further clarify the difference in rates.

Budget season is underway for Easton, with the budget introduction set for late October, a review session scheduled in November and adoption finalized in December.

City Council still holds the final decision for the hauling contract, which is expected to be completed in the very near future.