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Should Harrisburg outsource bulk trash cleanup? - abc27 WHTM

Should Harrisburg outsource bulk trash cleanup?

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - Trash is not just a nuisance in the city of Harrisburg, it's also a health hazard. Now some are calling for city officials to outsource part of the solution.

In its June report, the Environmental Advisory Council--created to recommend fund allocation from the incinerator host fees--suggested that city council consider the "legality and feasibility of hiring a private contractor to clean up illegal dumps."

Leland Nelson, owner of Dirty Dog Hauling, says his company would be a perfect fit. But even if the city didn't hire him, he hopes officials would still consider outsourcing.

"Trash is trash," he said. "Illegal dumping is a whole other problem."

Nelson submitted a proposal to the EAC in April, quoting his services at $125,000/year.

"You have to start with remediation -- take care of the problem in front of you," he said.

City council public works chair Sandra Reid said she will not rule out the possibility of using host fee revenue, which is already earmarked for environmental projects in the city, as part of the solution. But she does not agree with outsourcing.

"We will not spend $125,000 on a private contractor to clean up trash," she said. "We have a plan in place that comes with education and enforcement."

Reid points to a new task force formed in Dauphin County, which she said has reduced illegal dumping in the city by 70 percent over the last two years. She also believes union rules prevent the city from using private haulers rather than public works employees already in place.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse told abc27 he has not read over any specific proposals regarding illegal dumping and the use of host fees, but said ultimately he can only recommend solutions. Reid's public works committee would have final say on any budget allocation. If passed, it would then go to a full vote by city council.
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