Trash Hauling Should Be a Municipal Service

Part of Pennsylvania’s illegal dumping problem is about private companies dumping construction site debris and mining debris, but the other part is about residential garbage.

My hypothesis is that the areas with a high rate of illegal residential dumping are the same areas that don’t offer trash collection as a municipal service that’s paid for out of municipal taxes

State DEP encourages municipalities to contract with a single trash hauler, but they don’t mandate this, and some places have stupidly been leaving it up to residents to contract with their own individually-chosen private haulers. Not surprisingly, this law is completely unenforcable, and many people just don’t do it. They dump their trash in their neighbors’ trash cans or dump it in school or business dumpsters, or dump it on illegal dump sites.

Making trash collection a contracted municipal service is a no-brainer. It’s cheaper (you have more leverage together than individually), better for the environment, and better for the cleanliness of your community. State government mandates that municipalities provide some other services, and trash collection should be one of them.

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