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Business piling up for trash haulers taking Hurricane Sandy debris

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 08 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 09 2012 04:32:38 PM CST

Damage from Hurricane Sandy may be bad news for homeowners, but it's become good news for local trash haulers.

Damage from Hurricane Sandy may be bad news for homeowners, but it's become good news for local trash haulers. There's been a rise in refuse since the storm hit.

Advanced Disposal's services at the Hinkle Transfer station in Lower Macungie Twp., Lehigh Co., are in peak demand.

"We've seen about a 45 percent increase in volume coming in to our transfer stations and landfills," said Jessie Mateleska, general manager.

Landfills and transfer stations in the area are staying open later and taking in debris from New York and New Jersey.  State environmental regulators are relaxing some rules to help storm devastated areas.  Advanced Disposal is one of six companies in the Lehigh Valley with permission from the DEP.

"We're seeing an increase in spoiled food, trees, and some constructions debris," explained Mateleska.  "Roofing materials, things of that nature."

The uptick in trash translates into an additional 100 tons the transfer station is pushing through daily. The location has also extended its hours to include Saturday.

"Our folks are out there working twice as hard as they normally do trying to get cleaned up."

The special approval from the DEP expires Saturday, but Advanced Disposal is requesting an extension through next weekend.

"More waste keeps coming in. It's got to go somewhere," added Mateleska.  "Without an exemption, it's going to be hard to accommodate the folks of New Jersey."

Advanced Disposal said a majority of the garbage coming in from New York and New Jersey is actually going to neighboring facilities, but that boom in business is sending local and regional haulers over to them.