FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This FAQ page has been put together to answer many of the questions that you may have. If you have more questions please call the Palmer Municipal Building (610) 253-7191 or email Justine Caiazzo-Strouse at jcaiazzo-strouse@palmertwp.com

To view the answer to the questions click on the tab and the answer box will open.

May I get a smaller cart?

Smaller carts are available from time-to-time, but are reserved for the elderly, disabled or infirm. Keep in mind that extra bagged trash or larger items will not be accepted outside of the cart. Keeping the largest possible cart allows plenty of room for those small to medium size items or larger amounts that may result from entertaining or the holidays.


What if one cart is not enough for our household's weekly trash? May I get a second one?

Residents, as long as they are recycling, rarely need more than one 96-gallon waste cart. Be sure to check the recyclables list. Make sure you are recycling all the materials you possibly can to maximize the room in your trash cart.

However, if you do have more trash than fits in the cart, you may request an additional cart by calling the Township office between the hours of 8:30pm and 4:30pm, and completing a cart order form. The fee for the additional cart will be provided at a cost of $250.00 each and covers the service and disposal costs for the extra waste and is subject to change at any time. The Township owns all carts. The carts must remain with the property if a resident moves to another location.

What if one cart is not enough for our family's recyclables? May I get a second one?

Additional recycling carts are available to purchase for $250.


What if my cart is stolen?

If your cart is stolen, you must report it to the Palmer Police immediately. A stolen cart will be replaced free of charge if you provide a police case number.

Nationwide, communities report minimal theft due to being clearly embossed with the township name, the large size and the fact that they are traceable through the RFID tag.


What if my cart is damaged?

If the collection truck caused the damage, we will replace the cart at no charge to you. If the cart is damaged due to neglect, abuse, mutilation or modification, you will be responsible for purchasing a replacement cart. Wheels, lids, and axles are normally replaced at no cost to the resident.

If your cart is damaged, notify Palmer Township at (610) 253-7191 for a replacement or repairs.

What if I am physically unable to get my cart to the curb?

Assisted collection (door-to-curbside-and-back service) is available to those who may be elderly, disabled or infirm, as verified by your physician. Contact the municipal building for more information at 610-253-7191 x1160.

Where and how do I place my cart for collection?

  1. Carts must be within two feet of the curb edge by 5:00 AM on the morning of collection and must be removed from the street no later than 7:00 PM on collection day. Carts are not to be left on the street all week.
  2. Please place the cart at least 4 feet from any tree, utility pole, mailbox, fire hydrant, etc., and at least 5 feet away from any cars parked in the street. Carts must be placed at least 3 feet apart from each other.
  3. Do not lean anything against the cart, since that will prevent it from being lifted for emptying.
  4. Remember to place the arrows on the lid of the container toward the street and the handle toward the house.


What about parked cars?

The automated truck arm has a reach of 6 feet. The arm requires 3 feet clearance around the cart for the lifting mechanism to work properly. Cars parked in front of or too close to the cart may prevent collection.

Why do I need to provide space between my garbage cart, recycling cart and other items out for collection?

A different vehicle collects each item, so access is important. Also, the collection arm on the automated truck requires space to make the collection safely so that it will not tip over other containers or damage your property.

What if it snows?

Emptying the carts under most weather circumstances should not be a problem. Certain weather emergencies may require a one-day delay of our waste and recycling collection. Collections for the remainder of the week will run one day behind schedule, with regular Friday collection being completed on Saturday. Information regarding this type of delay will be posted as soon as possible on www.palmertwp.com, Nixle Alert System, Channel 69 TV news, and on radio channels 96.1, 99.9, 100.7, 103.5.

My neighbors never take their garbage cart/recycle bin/yard waste container(s) back to their house! They are always out and make our neighborhood look "trashy." What can I do?

Palmer Township does not allow containers to be at the curbside for collection other than from 7pm the day before collection day, to 7pm the day of the scheduled collection day. If you are aware of someone repeatedly leaving the containers out beyond these times, please contact the Palmer Municipal Building at (610) 253-7191.

How do I store and care for my cart?

  1. Do not drag the cart when moving it. Tilt and roll it with the lid closed.
  2. Keep lid closed at all times.
  3. Clean the cart periodically with water.
  4. Store the cart in the backyard, side yard or garage.


What should I not do to my cart?

  1. Do not store it near a fireplace, furnace, grill or other heat source.
  2. Do not place hot ashes, solvents, paints, or other flammable liquids in the cart.
  3. Do not use the cart to hold hazardous materials such as: chemicals, oils, liquids and medical waste, exposed needles, used bandages, etc.
  4. Do not place dirt, rocks, large limbs, or building materials in the cart.
  5. Do not place automotive parts or tires in the cart.
  6. Do not overfill the cart to the extent the lid will not fully close. If the lid is not closed, garbage will spill to the road during collection so the container will not be emptied.
  7. Do not allow children to play in or on the cart.
  8. Please DO NOT write house numbers or put any other marking on the carts.
  9. The cart is the property of Palmer Township. If you move, please leave the cart at your home.


I bought a cart at Home Depot that looks just like the ones we'll be using. May I use it?

No, our collection vehicles will collect ONLY Palmer Township’s containers.

What if I have items too large to fit into my cart?

Various items can be disposed of or recycled curbside as follows:

  1. Bulk Item Collections – Four (4) times per year; One (1) item per collection.
  2. Yard Waste Collections – Two (2) times per year, spring and fall.
  3. Metal and Appliance Collection – One (1) time per year, spring.
  4. Leaf Collection – Eight (8) weeks in the fall; highly dependent on weather.
  5. Christmas Tree Collection – First three (3) full weeks of each year.

    Bulk items can be collected by special request to Waste Management Customer Service at 800-621-2100. Identify yourself as a resident of Palmer Township, Pennsylvania, to receive the discounted price of $40 per item. Be sure to get a confirmation number in case follow-up should be needed.

    Various Items can also be taken to the Hartley Avenue Recycling Center and/or the Berks Street Yard Waste Center. See Township Drop Off Recycling Centers Tab for additional information.

    Remember, donating reusable items to non-profits such as American Family Services, in Palmer, or Habitat for Humanity, are always welcomed and appreciated!

What do we do with our yard waste?

Click here to view yard waste options.

What goes into my recycling cart?

Click here to view yard waste options.

What should NOT go into my recycling cart?

Do not place food waste, mirrors, ceramics, windows or any glass other than bottles, light bulbs, films, plastic wrap, or plastic bags or Styrofoam of any kind into your recycling container.

Do I need to clean my recyclables before placing them in the cart?

Yes, rinsing is recommended to keep food contamination out and our carts sanitary and clean.

Does cardboard have to be bundled and tied?

Items such as cereal and shoe boxes can now simply be dropped into the cart. Cardboard boxes may need to be flattened or broken down to release easily from the cart when emptying. Cardboard jammed in too tightly can prevent complete emptying of your cart.

Can I place additional trash or recycling next to the cart?

No. All waste or recycling must be placed inside the recycling or waste carts. Trash left in bags or other types of containers or carts, other than Palmer Township’s specific carts, will not be collected.

How full should my recycling cart be when I set it out?

It is most efficient and economical for our trucks to make stops for full, or nearly full carts. Also, it improves air quality when trucks don’t have to make unnecessary stops. If your cart is not full and you feel you can wait until the next collection cycle, please do not put your cart out.

Do I still need to bag my trash?

Yes, all trash should be bagged before it is put in the cart. Bagging helps keep your cart clean and reduces windblown litter. We will not pick up litter blown out of the carts.

Why can we no longer put out TV's and certain electronics out as waste?

The PA CDRA Act effective January 24, 2013, prohibits landfills and other solid waste disposal facilities from accepting items such as televisions, computers, hard drives, monitors, keyboards, printers or other type of components. click here.

How do I dispose of latex paint?

Latex paint is not hazardous when dry. Small amounts can be allowed to dry in can. Larger amounts should be poured into an absorbent material such as kitty litter or shredded paper and allowed to dry. Once dry they can be placed in your trash.

How do I dispose of oil-based paint?

Oil-based paint stains, and varnishes are hazardous and should not be placed in your waste cart. These items should be taken to a Northampton County Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.

How do I dispose of dead animals?

Small dead animals can be double bagged and placed in your waste cart.




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