NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> The competition for local trash is heating up with the arrival of a new trash hauler in the greater Newtown area.
Whitetail Disposal, a family-owned trash disposal company based in Montgomery County, is rolling into the Newtown market with its brown trash disposal trucks and cans, lower fees and quality customer service.
Paul Brady, Whitetail Disposal’s CEO, attended the September 3 Newtown Borough Council agenda meeting to introduce the company and to answer questions from council.
Started 10 years ago, Whitetail now serves about 100,000 customers in Berks, Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. It employs about 475 employees and is the contracted single hauler for Collegevillle, East Greenville, Schwenksville and Emmaus.
The company, said Brady, goes out of its way to get things done in the most environmentally-friendly manner. “That’s one of the benefits of being local,” he said.
All of the waste collected by the company is taken to Covanta, a waste to energy facility located in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County. “All your trash here will go to the waste to energy facility. In the four R’s, there’s reduce, reuse, recycle and renew. Renew is what this plant does by generating electricity.”
According to Brady, Whitetail provides a one day pickup service per week to its customers. It also puts an emphasis on educating its customers on proper recycling.
“We are a local hauler known for doing a good job. We’ve won the Reader’s Choice award and ranked number one for the past eight years running,” Brady told council. “And we are excited to come into the borough and do a good job for you as your neighbors.”
The arrival of a new trash hauler in town briefly resurrected a discussion by council over whether to further investigate a single hauler trash collection system for the borough.
“The more I talk to other neighboring municipalities that have gone to single hauler, they are all pleased with the decision they made in terms of a reduction in traffic, the wear and tear on their roads. They think it’s better,” said Councilor Julia Woldorf, the liaison to the borough’s Environmental Advisory Council.
Under single hauler, the borough would take bids and hire a single hauler to service the town’s residential customers. Right now, residents individually contract with haulers registered with the borough and negotiate their own contracts.
With the addition of Whitetail, the borough now has six registered haulers on its list including Waste Management, Republic, McCullough and Whitetail Disposal on the residential side and Leck, Whitetail and Horizon on the commercial end.
During the course of the discussion, council asked Brady for his thoughts on single hauler.
Brady said by implementing a single hauler system the municipality woujd essentially be getting into the trash business.
“For example, if you let a contract three years ago as part of your tax base, this January you would be going into a bid with a significant increase in recyclable cost. What you would have to be prepared for is to explain to the citizenry that there’s going to be a large increase in their tax bill coming in January because of costs associated with recycling.”
Brady added that while his company has a number of single hauler agreements, his preference is to be in a “competitive” situation.
“I will promise you one thing. We will always bring price competition to the community,” said Brady. “If we were here earlier, your costs would already be lower than what you’ve experienced the last year, two years, three years, five years.
“Everywhere we have gone - you can ask them in Doylestown, Warrington and Horsham where we are now the largest hauler - when we came in we brought competition and brought the whole cost down for them.”
Brady added that if the borough would decide on a single hauler system, he would be prepared to take part in the bidding to win the contract.
“If you make a decision I promise that we will be here for the bid meetings and the pre-bid information and we will be very competitive,” said Brady.
Council President Kevin McDermott said he’s not sold on the idea of a single hauler system.
“I feel very strongly against it. It’s the idea of a lack of competition and just the thought of telling someone, ‘You might like your trash collector. You’re not going to be able to have that anymore.’ That’s my feeling on it.”
While council publicly mulled the idea of a single hauler system, they took no action on the topic. Council President McDermott did sign a document officially adding Whitetail Disposal to the borough’s list of approved haulers.
In the meantime, the borough’s solicitor will be looking into whether the borough can legally cap or place some other control on the number of trash haulers operating in the borough.
Council President McDermott made the suggestion due to the growing number of haulers doing business in the borough and the impact of the trucks on borough streets.