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Public Works FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
What about households where no one is physically able to place their refuse/recycling within five-feet of the curb line?
What are residents required to do to assist the sweeping process?
When will I choose my subscription level for 2016?
By how much will my fees increase?
If I don't want to change my level of service, do I need to return the subscription form?
Why are my fees going to change?
I currently have a 30-gallon container. Can I increase the size of my container to reduce my 2016 subscription level?
What will happen if I don't comply with curbside collection?
What will be the cost to receive Rear-Yard Collection?
Are there any incentives to reduce trash disposal?
How do I dispose of motor oil?
How do I dispose of leaves?
Where can residents purchase leaf bags?
If I have more questions or need clarification, how can I get answers?
How can I learn more about the new Solid Waste Fee structure?
How does the Township define “curbside collection”?
Is curbside collection mandatory for multi-family units or townhomes?
Does the Township offer a Senior Citizens Discount?
What is the current method for Township refuse and recycling refuse pick-up?
How do I schedule the collection of additional refuse not provided for under the subscription level of refuse collection?
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Q: What about households where no one is physically able to place their refuse/recycling within five-feet of the curb line?
A: The Township offers a program to exempt qualified disabled homeowners who meet certain criteria from paying the fee to maintain rear yard collection service. Customers who wish to apply for this exemption can obtain an application here or call the Township’s Public Works Department at (610) 645-6150 for an application.

A waiver of the rear yard collection fee will be granted when the subscriber’s application includes a doctor's confirmation that he or she is disabled and not able to transport a 50- pound refuse container to the curb for collection. Waivers will not be granted to those who reside with others who are physically capable of bringing trash containers to the curbside.

If a subscriber has previously filed a waiver form along with documentation from their doctor indicating a permanent disability, the Township will allow the annual waiver form to be re-certidfied by the disabled subscriber (without a doctor's signature).  The subscriber must also re-certify that there are no others residing in the home who are physically capable of brinigng the trash to the curbside.  All other requests for a disability waiver must be submitted along with confirmation of the disability form their doctor.
Q: What are residents required to do to assist the sweeping process?
A: Citizens must avoid parking cars in the street on the days their district is scheduled for sweeping.
Q: When will I choose my subscription level for 2016?
A: The 2016 subscription form is at the bottom of the subscription letter mailed to customers in early November. Selections must be made and returned by December 18, 2015 and are effective January 1, 2016.
Q: By how much will my fees increase?
A: This answer depends on the level of service you subscribe to receive.  Please review the following information carefully to help you make an informed decision.

This chart outlines the different fees to be charged.  The basic one-container subscription is unchanged from the 2015 rate of $292.  Each additional container will cost an additional $58.

If you currently place your refuse/recycling for collection at the curb, no further fees will be incurred.

Solid Waste Fee Subscriptions 2015 Fees 2016 Fees
1 Mini-Can (20-gallon container)
$205
$205
1 Container (up to 45-gallons)  
$292
$292
2 Containers
$350
$350
3 Containers
$408
$408
4 Containers
$466
$466
5 Containers
$524
$524
6 Containers
$582
$582
7 Containers
$640
$640
8 Containers
$698
$698
Rear Yard Collection Fee
$210
$210
Q: If I don't want to change my level of service, do I need to return the subscription form?
A: It is encouraged, but not required.  Since the Township is not implementing any service changes in 2016, it is not necessary for all solid waste collection customers to return the subscription form.  However, due to the new fee schedule implemented in 2014, residents should take this opportunity to reassess their choices and report their subscription levels to the Township.
Q: Why are my fees going to change?
A:

The Solid Waste Fees will not increase for 2016.

In 2010, the Township restructured its Solid Waste Fee (SWF) to full cost recovery and added a new Rear Yard Collection Fee (RYCF).  The 2010 SWF's were unchanged in 2011 & 2012.  

However, in recent years the recycling materials market has been volatile creating unfavorable revenue performance on the resale of mixed paper and increasing costs for the disposal of comingled recyclables.   In addition, the State has reduced its recycling performance grant funding by 40% and natural revenue growth of customer subscriptions has been flat.  The combination of these factors required a +9% fee increase in 2013 (except for RYCF), which provided new additional net revenue ($0.5 million) to balance the Solid Waste Fund revenue and expenditures. 

The Township projected a need for new additional net revenue (0.3 million) in 2014, which was be realized with a blended +5.4 % rate increase to all subscription levels, including the RYCF.

Q: I currently have a 30-gallon container. Can I increase the size of my container to reduce my 2016 subscription level?
A: The Township will accept up to a 45-gallon container (weighing up to 50 pounds) for collection. Citizens whose current containers are smaller than 45-gallons may be able to reduce their subscription level and subsequent fees by purchasing the maximum capacity container. Each household should carefully consider the subscription level and container size that works best for them. Remember: regardless of size, no container can contain more than 50 pounds of refuse/recycling.
Q: What will happen if I don't comply with curbside collection?
A: Households that do not subscribe to Rear Yard Collection will be required to place their trash at the curbside, which is within five-feet of the curb line. If you fail to do so, you will be given a notice of violation. Violations beyond two violation notices will result in automatically being charged and separately billed the full annual $210 RYCF.
Q: What will be the cost to receive Rear-Yard Collection?
A: Customers who prefer to place their refuse/recycling further than five-feet from the curb line will now be required to subscribe to this service. The cost to receive rear yard collection will be an additional $210 annually, effective January 1, 2014.

Citizens who currently receive rear-yard collection may opt to discontinue this level of service to avoid the $210 fee.

Customers who do not subscribe to rear-yard collection will be required to place their trash for collection at the curb line. Rear-yard trash containers will not be collected without a subscription for this enhanced level of service.
Q: Are there any incentives to reduce trash disposal?
A: Charging increased fees for each container set out for collection is an incentive for citizens to decrease the amount of waste generated at their household. A further incentive to reduce trash disposal was the creation of the new “mini-can” option. This option is available only to subscribers whose one-container level of service is a maximum 20-gallon capacity. The “mini-can” subscription level would actually lower the annual fee to $205 for those choosing that option.

There is no limit to the amount of recycling you can place for collection.
Q: How do I dispose of motor oil?
A: While the Township does not accept motor oil for recycling, the following service stations will do so: Haliman Sunoco, Woodside & Lancaster Avenues, Ardmore; Fritsch’s Exxon, Montgomery & Woodside Avenues, Ardmore; Mike’s Amoco, 500 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford; Laird’s Gulf, 949 Montgomery Avenue, Narberth; and Plisinski Citgo, 1227 Lancaster Avenue, Rosemont.
Q: How do I dispose of leaves?
A: Leaves must be placed at the curb in biodegradable paper bags only for weekly collection on your normal collection day. Plastic bags not accepted. You may purchase the biodegradable brown paper bags from your local hardware stores or the Transfer Station at the Public Works Complex on Woodbine Avenue. The charges for the leaf bags are $0.49 per bag or $24.50 for 50 bags (plus tax). Leaves are not to be raked, blown, or dumped in Township parks or properties, additionally leaves from residents' property are not to be raked or blown into the street.
Q: Where can residents purchase leaf bags?
A: Leaf bags can be purchased for .49 cents a bag plus tax, and $24.50 for 50 bags plus tax, at the Township’s Transfer Station, which is located at the Koegel Public Works Complex in Penn Valley, 610-667-1952 or at local hardware and home centers.
Q: If I have more questions or need clarification, how can I get answers?
A: Citizens with questions on the new SWF structure are invited to call the Township’s Public Works staff at (610) 667-1952.
You may also e-mail your questions to: solidwastecollection@lowermerion.org
Q: How can I learn more about the new Solid Waste Fee structure?
A: Information on this topic can be found on the Township’s website, www.lowermerion.org. Follow the “Departments & Services” prompt to “Public Works—Refuse and Recycling.”
Q: How does the Township define “curbside collection”?
A: Curb-side collection is defined as any point within five feet of the curb line. Any collection point beyond five feet is considered an enhanced level of service, or rear-yard collection.
Q: Is curbside collection mandatory for multi-family units or townhomes?
A: All multi-family dwellings of four units or less are required to subscribe to Township solid waste collection by choosing a container level per unit as well as the rear yard collection option per unit if the collection point(s) for the refuse and recycling generated is more than five feet from the curb.
Q: Does the Township offer a Senior Citizens Discount?
A: The Township currently offers Solid Waste customers that meet certain requirements, including income levels, a Senior Citizens rebate, which is 20% of the single container subscription. Applications forms are available on www.lowermerion.org or you may call (610) 645-6146 for more information.

NOTE: Senior Citizens rebates are not applicable to the Mini-Can subscription level or for Rear Yard Collection.
Q: What is the current method for Township refuse and recycling refuse pick-up?
A: The Township provides collection and disposal services to all single-family dwellings, all two-family dwellings and all apartments containing four or fewer dwelling units. Collection by the Township is optional for residential buildings of five to fifty units, but not from dumpsters. The Township does not collect commercial waste.

Trash is collected once a week at curbside or from the rear yard by municipal employees. Residents are also required to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum food and beverage containers (comingled) and mixed paper which is collected once every two weeks by municipal employees. Residents are charged a Solid Waste Fee based on thier container subscription level. There is no limit on recyclables.
Q: How do I schedule the collection of additional refuse not provided for under the subscription level of refuse collection?
A: Bulky items and large appliances may not be placed out for regular refuse collection. You may obtain a Special "pick-up" application at the Public Works Department on the first floor in the Township Administration Building, 75 E Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, or at the Public Works Complex, 1300 N Woodbine Avenue, Penn Valley or by download here (PDF). There will be an additional charge for this collection based on the amount or size of the item. You can save the pick up fee by bringing these items or additional refuse beyond your subscription level to the Public Works Complex where you will only be charged a disposal fee.

Bulky items, large appliances and other items normally collected with a special pickup are:

Air Conditioner
Antenna (TV)
Auto Parts (150 lb. limit)
Barbeque Grill
Bath Tub
Bed Frame
Bicycle
BoxSpring
Cabinets
Carpet (rolled)
Chair
Couch or Sofa
Dehumidifier
Dishwasher
Dryer
Doors
Downspouting
Freezer (door removed)
Golf Clubs
Lawn Furniture

Laundry Tubs
Luggage or Trunk
Lawn Mower
Metal (misc.)
Mattress
Padding (rolled)
Playground Equipment (dismantled)
Pipes
Plaster
Refrigerator (doors removed)
Radiator
Stove
Sink 
Toilet or Commode
Toys
Trash Can(s)
Washer
Water Heater
Wood (over 3 ft. long)

Items other than those listed above may be subject to non-collection, in which case the fee for Special pick-up will be refunded.

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