Philadelphia’s new trash contract to save $8 million — and the environment

The city of Philadelphia has made a deal to save millions on trash removal.

After putting trash and recycling services out for a blind bid, Philadelphia came out with a better deal, according to streets commissioner Clarena Tolson, who says the savings are significant.

“The city negotiated 16 percent decrease in the blended disposal cost of $68.70 per ton for fiscal year 2012 to $57.99 per ton for fiscal year 2013, resulting in an annual decrease in disposal costs of $8.4 million,” Tolson said Wednesday.

The deal is also better for the environment, Tolson said, because it will keep most of the city’s trash out of landfills through a new $20 million recycling facility to be built in Northeast Philadelphia.

“At this facility, a specially engineered fuel product will be produced by processing the waste to remove ferrous and non-ferrous material and PVC plastics,” Tolson said.

The solid fuel produced from the trash could be substituted for coal at power plants.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.