Business Community Government

Hellertown Businesses Could See Garbage Fee Changes

Est. Read Time: 2 mins

Hellertown Borough Council members discussed the possibility of changing the fee schedule for garbage pickup for some borough businesses at their meeting Monday night.

Although no final decision about the fees was made, council did vote to send letters this week to dozens of business and property owners whose garbage bills would increase by $150 or more next year under the proposed schedule.

Rates for residential, home occupation and low-impact commercial businesses will remain the same, borough manager Cathy Hartranft stressed in a follow-up email.

“We have added a rate for Medium Impact and High Impact Commercial Business to reflect the volume of trash put out at these establishments (please note these are businesses without dumpsters),” she said in the email.

For those businesses with dumpsters, the proposed changes are:

  • 1.5 cubic yard dumpster – rate increase from $474/yr. to $525/yr.
  • 2 days/week pick-up will be an additional $525/yr.
  • 3 days/week pick-up will be an additional $787/yr.

For those businesses with a 2 cubic yard dumpster, the proposed changes are:

  • No change to annual rate – currently $700/yr
  • 2 days/week pick-up will be an additional $350/yr.
  • 3 days/week pick-up will be an additional $700/yr.
  • 4 days/week pick-up will be an additional $1050/yr.

In addition, if a business shares a dumpster with apartment units in the same building that property will only be charged the dumpster rate multiplied by the number of collections per week. The residential units will not be billed separately from the dumpster charge as long as all refuse is collected from the dumpster.

Hartranft stressed that the calculations under consideration are “preliminary and may be subject to change.”

She added that under the current proposal, a “significant” number of businesses will actually see a decrease in their garbage bills.

Most council members expressed tempered support for the proposal after it was outlined, because it would both simplify the borough’s billing process for commercial trash customers and be more equitable, according to borough staff.

“We have been eating the cost” of garbage generated by some of the borough’s busiest restaurants, public works director Tom Henshaw told council.

Consequently, that cost is being inadvertently subsidized by other customers, Hartranft said.

The current fee schedule for businesses “really (does) not make any sense,” council president Tom Rieger said. “It’s got to be simplified.”

Council is expected to vote on the proposed change to the fee schedule at its first meeting in January, which will be held Monday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. at Hellertown Borough Hall.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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