Solid Waste Ordinance

The following Frequently Asked Questions  address issues regarding a change in the municipal ordinance that regulates solid waste collection. The change will require owners of residential structures with four or more units to pay for refuse/recycling collection by private hauler. This change would occur concurrent with the next 5-year contract, which will go into effect in January of 2019. If you have additional questions, you may contact Ian McMeans, assistant municipal manager, or 412-343-3620.

Draft of Proposed Solid Waste Ordinance

Solid Waste Ordinance Amendment presentation

 Proposed Solid Waste Ordinance FAQs

What changes will the new solid waste ordinance make in refuse/recycling collection?

Currently, the municipal refuse contractor picks up all residential trash and recycling, including waste from some multi-unit residential buildings. The new ordinance will make no change to the collection for multi-unit residential structures with three or fewer units. Residential structures with four or more units, however, will be categorized like all Mt. Lebanon’s other commercial properties, which means the property owners will be responsible for contracting with a private company for their building’s refuse and recycling pickup. The ordinance amendment will not affect single-family homes. The proposed Ordinance is available on at

Why is this change being proposed?

Mt. Lebanon participates in a collective bidding process with 13 other communities in the South Hills Area Council of Governments (SHACOG).  All the other SHACOG communities structure their pickup in this way. As we prepare to go out to bid for a new contract, which will be in place from 2019-2023, It is important that our pickup parameters are similar in order to ensure the best pricing for the group.

What is the timeline for the ordinance to be adopted?

The Mt Lebanon Commission discussed the issue of solid waste collection for multi-unit buildings at its discussion session meetings on November 28, 2016, and April 11, 2017. There were public meetings to explain the proposed ordinance changes to affected property owners on Wednesday, July 19, at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A video of the morning session is available on the municipal website ( Mt Lebanon Commission will follow the normal procedures for ordinance adoption in August and September.

When will this ordinance become effective?

Affected property owners will have until January 1, 2019, to contract with a refuse and recycling collector and begin pickups. Property owners are encouraged to schedule collections to begin prior to January 1, 2019, so that there is not a gap in service to the residents of the building(s) they own.

Will my property taxes go down since you're not paying for my pickup anymore?  Property taxes for owners who will now need to pay for private refuse collection will not automatically go down once the ordinance is implemented. It is possible, however, depending on the SHACOG solid waste contract that is negotiated for the 2019-2023, that overall municipal costs could decrease. Whether that decrease would result in lower taxes overall would depend on budget decisions made by the municipal commission, including setting real estate tax rates, based on the expenditures needed to be funded by the general fund. 

Who gets the bill, me or my tenants? 

Property owners can choose where the bill is sent through private agreement with the hauler of their choice. The municipality will not send a bill.

Can we piggyback on the municipal contract and just pay Mt. Lebanon?

This issue was raised by a number of property owners at the July 19 public meetings. There is no plan for piggybacking at the current time, but the municipality will give it serious consideration when the information needed to make a decision is available. First, the municipality needs to decide whether the next contract will be structured on a per household or a tonnage basis. Until SHACOG bid documents are issued, the municipality will not have the future pricing information that property owners would need in order to make a decision, if “piggybacking” were an option.

Can you give me a list of contractors for me to call?

There are a number of waste and recycling haulers in the Pittsburgh region; however, municipal policy does not permit us to recommend private businesses to residents.

My property already has a private hauler. Do I need to do anything?


Prepared by the Assistant Municipal Manager and Public Information Office, August 2017.