Hauler Newsletter - Late Winter 2011

Written by I.R.C.. Posted in Haulers

Upcoming Meeting

Our Spring hauler meeting is 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 29th at the Logan Township Building.   Remember that all hauling firms must be represented at these hauler meetings.

Residential Recycling Notes

Recycling Schedule

All haulers must now be on the same recycling collection schedule in Altoona and Hollidaysburg.  We have included  that schedule for the next few months at the bottom of the page.  Recycling should be done every two weeks after that.  You may still collect recycling weekly if you prefer but you must notify your customers if you choose to do weekly collection.  Stop in or e-mail us ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) for a copy of the 2011 calendar if you still need one.

Written Service Descriptions

You must send each of your residential customers a written description of billing arrangements and services you provide

  • At the beginning of each year
  • When you begin service with them
  • If you must change some part of your service

Collection Truck Reminders

Recycling and waste vehicles must:

  • Always have their load secured and covered
  • Be sure that leachate does not leak out of the compaction compartment
  • Be labeled with six inch lettering, listing your company’s name, the town or city you are located, your phone number and the kind of material you are carrying

Residential Bins

We still have a bundle of curbside bins and we want to get them to the curbside where they belong.  More than half our households do not use or have a bin and we want them to get a bin as soon as they can. I hope you will be understanding, however, that we cannot simply give out a bunch of bins to each of you.  We are required to record an address for each bin we give out in an effort to cut down on people getting bins for other purposes besides recycling.  So if you have a customer that needs a bin:
Have the resident stop at the IRC office or one of the IRC municipal buildings or garages.  (Besides being easier for you, this also gives us a chance to explain things to them and give them the best bin setup for their situation.)
Bring us the name and address of the customer and the information on how many and what type of bins they have now.

Low Volume Rates

Our ordinances also require that you offer residents a low volume rate if they make small amounts of trash.  We cannot tell you what you should charge a customer but we do require that you give some sort of price break to households that are recycling more and making less trash.

Improving Commercial & Institutional Recycling

As we noted in the last few issues, many commercial and institutional buildings are recycling cardboard but not much else.  Every building and public place in the four municipalities are required to recycle bottles,cans, newspaper and other printed paper.  We continue to remind businesses and institutions that all of these materials must be recycled. Let us again pass along some helpful hints that might assist you in recycling more without necessarily spending more time or money for additional collections or containers.  Let us make these suggestions.

  • For smaller businesses, simply make them part of your residential recycling collection route.  You are recycling in that neighborhood anyway, so stop and pick the small commercial stops when you pass nearby.
  • For larger businesses, be sure to make adjustments in their waste container or waste collection schedule.  This is especially important and worthwhile if you are adding cardboard collection to an establishment that has been doing no recycling at all.  If you reduce the amount of waste by 25% to 50%, you need much less waste dumpster space and you, the hauler, will save money on trash tip fees at the transfer station, too.
  • Recycling bins are available from the IRC.  The IRC purchased a number of bins and carts with a recycling grant from DEP.  Bins and lids are now available to any business, institution or multi-family building in the IRC communities.  These include:
    • The old traditional 18 gallon bin
    • Taller and bigger 22 gallon rectangular bins
    • 25 gallon round containers
  • Wheeled carts are also available.  A limited number of wheeled carts are also available for use in schools, institutions, non-profit organizations and cooperative commercial business properties or developments.  Notify us of the places that need such containers and we’ll make arrangements to deliver the carts.

Recycling & Waste Service Must Be Complete Package

The IRC municipalities recently clarified their ordinances  to require “Integrated Waste Management”.  But what does that mean in plain English?
It means that you must offer waste and recycling service as a package, not two separate services.  Many businesses, institutions and apartment buildings decide not to recycle because they think it’s difficult or expensive.  We are trying hard to dispel those notions.  we thought that if they are already paying for recycling, that most managers and owners would decide to give recycling a try.
Here is what the guidelines now say.

  1. Waste and recycling services shall be offered as an integrated and comprehensive service.  Haulers must offer waste and recycling services as a bundled package that includes collection services for Municipal Solid Waste and all recyclables (except yard waste) as required by these Guidelines.
  2. As part of this integrated system, the hauler is additionally responsible for provision of dumpsters, carts, bins or other containers in which waste or recyclables shall be deposited for collection in all commercial, institutional, industrial and multi-family establishments.  Said containers shall:
    • Be clearly labeled as recycling or waste containers
    • Have operable and secure lids
    • Be water-tight so as to prevent the leakage of liquids or allow easy access for rodents or other vectors.
  3. An exemption to the requirements contained in this Part §224 (C) shall be requested in writing or electronically via e-mail or web-based communication to the Municipality or its authorized agent. An exemption shall be granted only if all recycling requirements described in these guidelines are met, as determined in the sole and absolute discretion of the (Municipality).

We hope to discuss what all this means at our March Hauler Meeting, so please come prepared to ask whatever questions you might have on how this affects you.

Fluorescent Tube Recycling Required in Businesses

Fluorescent bulbs and tubes contain a small amount of mercury, an extremely toxic substance. When the bulbs are broken (as usually occurs when they are carelessly tossed in a waste dumpster) mercury is dispersed into the air, onto the ground and frequently into water supplies. Bulbs are often set out in dumpsters and broken after they are placed in the container or as they are compacted in the trash collection vehicle.

This is unhealthy for anyone that is exposed to the dust from the broken bulbs, custodians, waste collectors and others. This is a hazard for you as a waste collector.  It is especially dangerous around schools where children may be exposed to mercury when playing or walking near the dumpster where broken bulbs may be scattered. In response to the toxic nature of the components of the fluorescent tubes and bulbs, they are now regulated as hazardous waste, but one which can and should be recycled.

These regulated lamps includes fluorescent, high intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high-pressure sodium, and metal halide lamps, if they are characteristically hazardous. Fluorescent lamps, in particular are hazardous because they contain mercury. All businesses and institutions must recycle fluorescent bulbs and tubes since the Pennsylvania regulations state "a conditionally exempt small quantity generator may not dispose of hazardous waste in a municipal or residual waste landfill in this commonwealth" (see 25 PA Code 261a.5 (b)).

The effect of this regulation is that, in Pennsylvania, all fluorescent lamps, if hazardous, must be managed as either a universal waste or manifested as hazardous waste. Lamps from households are not subject to these requirements because household waste is excluded from regulation as hazardous waste at 40 CFR 261.4(b)(1)

As a hauler, you should feel comfortable to leave and not pick up fluorescent tubes and bulbs set out for collection by commercial establishments.  It is in fact illegal for any commercial establishment to dispose of their fluorescents with their general municipal solid waste because of the toxic nature of the fluorescent tubes and bulbs. (See our fact sheet for more.)

Free Electronics Recycling Now Available in County

It will soon be illegal to dispose of televisions and computers in Pennsylvania landfills.  Recent legislation requires makers of televisions and computers to provide recycling services for their products.  The county and IRC have worked with eLoop LLC to provide free recycling drop-off service for those products.  Blair County residents will be able to do that at the Blair County Yard Waste Compost Recycling facility in Logan Township (Blacksnake Road, near the Buckhorn).

The best news is that the service is free to all county residents.  The Compost Facility will be open during regular hours, weekdays (except Wednesdays) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each Saturday.  The facility is closed on all county holidays.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation at the end of the 2010 session requiring the recycling of televisions, computers and related electronic devises. The law required computer and television manufacturers to facilitate and fund the recycling of the electronic devices they manufacture.
Computers contain both valuable precious metals and hazardous components, and two thirds of the states now have some sort of recycling mandate to handle the devices in an environmentally preferable way.

The Blair County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling, the Intermunicipal Relations Committee Council of Governments, and eLoop LLC have joined together to provide free recycling of household and small business electronic devices covered by Act 180 of 2010.  Devices currently accepted include:

  • All types of televisions
  • Computer towers and laptops
  • Computer monitors
  • Keyboards, mice and speakers

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