Sam Augustine of Mascaro & Sons left a comment on the blog I posted last week about trash. I figured many of you might not see it, so I'm reposting it today. It answers some of the questions I had. I should add that if you have problems on your block with trash piling up and you suspect it's one of the cases mentioned below that isn't covered in Mascaro's contract, you should report it to the Codes Department at 610-270-0441or file a complaint online at this link. The more people who complain about a property, the more likely the complaint won't be ignored.
Mr. Augustine's letter:
My name is Sam Augustine and I am Director of Sales and Marketing for J.
P. Mascaro & Sons and, as such, I oversee our company’s municipal
bidding. I have been with the company for over 30 years and have been
involved in every one of Norristown’s trash bids and contracts during
I wanted to clear up any confusion on the new
contract that we will be starting on April 1, 2015. You are correct
that there will be two (2) sixty-four (64) gallon toters, one for trash
and one for recyclables. The toter for the recyclables will have a
different color lid to distinguish it from the toter to be used for
trash. In addition, every household will be able to put out two
additional 35-gallon containers of trash. This will definitely help
clean up Norristown. But you are right that our company, along with
Norristown, will have to educate the residents on this new program. We
plan to go to the elementary schools, community and civic groups to
present an educational program on this new contract.
items left at curbs, such as televisions and larger items, we are unable
to collect electronic devices (TVs, stereos, microwaves, etc.), and by
law they cannot go into a landfill. Homeowners have to make special
arrangements to get those items collected. The best thing for
homeowners to do is to take those items to big box stores (like Best
Buy) that are required to accept them for recycling purposes. But when
you see them at the curb, it is not because we missed collecting them,
but rather residents are not following the proper procedures. In fact,
the collection crew tags a TV (or other electronic device) every time it
is put at curbside, informing the homeowner that we do not pick the
item up and telling how and where they can dispose of the TV (or other
We also do not collect household clean-outs
where residents clean out a garage or basement or when they move in or
move out. Our current contract requires us to pick up four 35-gallon
containers of trash per household. We don’t hold Norristown to the
letter of that contract and often pick up five, six or seven containers.
However, when the amount of trash placed at curbside is so voluminous
that it is not just routine weekly-generated trash, we tag it with a
note for the resident and they have to make special arrangements to have
it removed at an additional price. Norristown Administration is aware
of this as well, as we inform them if there are excessive amounts of
trash put out by homeowners. So, when you see those large volumes of
trash at the curb, again, it is not because we missed it, but rather
that it is not our responsibility to collect.
We also are not
required to collect multi-unit establishments. When a house is
converted into multiple apartments (more than four units), it is not
considered a residential stop, and the owner is required to contract for
separate service with a company of its choice. So, oftentimes when you
see items left at curbside, it is not necessarily because we missed it
or failed to pick it up, but rather because we are not supposed to pick
it up for the reasons above.
I hope this clears up any
confusion. The Administration and Council worked very hard on this new
program that is to take effect April 1st and we are confident that,
together with a properly rolled out educational program, it will be a
success, especially since under the new contract, there is a recycling
incentive program where all residents will benefit by increased
recycling. More information on that will be supplied to each household
later this month.
Thank you for your interest in Norristown’s contract.