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Trash Problems in Hazleton

Trash Problems in Hazleton - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 3:44PM EST

Reported by: Andy Mehalshick
Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008 @ 03:44pm EST

HAZLETON , LUZERNE COUNTY- Officials say the talking is over. They are planning on coming down hard on those who don't pay up.

We found workers picking up the trash in the city's north end near Hayes Street, but many of the people putting out this garbage are not paying their bill. Mary Ellen Leib is the city's administrator; she shows us pages upon pages of residents who are not paying. This is what she said, "right now its over a million dollars at the point we are at right now we're not even collecting enough to pay trash hauler on a monthly basis."

But unlike water or sewer service, which can be cut off at the home, it is nearly impossible to tell their hauler, not to pick up trash at a certain house. Leib says, "What you end up doing is end up being faced with having to increase what you are charging people that are not fair to people who pay their bills faithfully."

So the city is deciding what to do including publishing the name of those who don't pay to embarrass them into doing the right thing.

Joe Mussoline says it’s time for his fellow residents to do what's right. He said, "Well, everybody should pay it I mean for them to pay trash man to pick it up, if they don't pay bills garbage will be all over the streets I pay mine, my neighbors pay theirs everybody should pay really."

The city's trash fee is about $200 a year but there are people who owe as much as $1,000 to even $25,000 dollars in overdue trash payments.

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