Customers who prepaid Raccoon Refuse for garbage or recycling service may be able to get their money back.
Municipalities that had contracts with Raccoon Refuse for residential services can obtain compensation from performance bonds posted by the company.
Raccoon Refuse, based in Mill Village, is bankrupt. In an email to Union City Borough on Monday, the company said it had closed and was no longer providing service. Raccoon Refuse picked up trash from residential customers in Union City.
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The company also provided garbage collection for residents of the boroughs of Albion and Cambridge Springs and collected recyclables in Summit Township.
Individual Raccoon Refuse customers in areas without municipally contracted garbage and recycling service are also affected by the closure of the business. Raccoon Refuse has served approximately 15,000 customers in Erie County, Erie County Executive Brenton Davis said in a news release Tuesday evening.
The county is working with local municipalities to collect trash and provide recycling alternatives, Davis said.
“Our first priority is to ensure that our residents’ rubbish does not accumulate for weeks and create a public health problem. We are engaged in ongoing discussions with (local municipalities) to identify a site deposit until a new curbside carrier has been identified,” Davis said.
Trash previously collected by Raccoon Refuse accumulates at the company’s transfer station in Spartansburg. The state Department of Environmental Protection ordered the company to clean up the site.
How Customers Can Request a Refund
Raccoon Refuse customers who paid for the service by credit or debit card can contact the company’s billing department for a refund.
Vermont-based Trash Billing, in a notification to local municipalities on Tuesday, said refunds will be issued to customers who paid for the service electronically. The company said it cannot refund payments made by check or paid directly to Raccoon Refuse.
To request a refund, email [email protected], with “Raccoon Refuse Customer” in the subject line.
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“We are happy to issue refunds for payments made with no service provided, but we are currently overwhelmed with the volume of calls related to Racoon’s closure,” Trash Billing said in a notice to Union City Borough.
Customers must provide their 12-digit account number, the date of their last payment, and the number of times they received service after making the payment.
Municipalities may be able to recover costs
Summit Township officials will seek compensation from a performance bond provided by Raccoon Refuse when it was awarded a contract to provide curbside recycling service in the township.
The bond, issued by a private insurance company for $90,000, can be claimed when a company fails to deliver contracted services.
“We can let them know what our loss is and ask for that money,” Summit Township Supervisor Jack Lee said. “We have already spoken to our attorney to show that Raccoon Refuse has waived its bond.”
The bond money could compensate the township for the cost of providing a new recycling service. Summit Township, based on population and population density, is among the larger municipalities required by state law to provide recycling service.
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Residents of Summit Township arrange their own garbage pickup. On Wednesday, containers of bright green raccoon waste were still on the sidewalk outside some township homes.
“We are fortunate to have five non-Raccoon waste haulers providing service in the township, and hopefully they can fill some of the void,” Lee said.
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Albion Borough has arranged trash collection by Tri-County Industries beginning Thursday.
The borough’s contract with Raccoon Refuse for the collection of household waste was due to expire at the end of this year. She had awarded a new five-year contract, starting in January, to Tri-County Industries.
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Due to the closure of Raccoon Refuse, the Grove City-based carrier has agreed to begin work in the borough immediately, Borough Manager Gary Wells said.
Cambridge Springs Borough will be accepting garbage from residents in dumpsters on the Snow Alley Carnival grounds until it can arrange a new curbside pickup.
The Borough of Union City is working to make new arrangements, Borough Manager Cindy Wells said.
Raccoon Refuse customers in other parts of Erie and Crawford counties will need to make their own arrangements for garbage and recycling service.
Companies providing services in the county include Waste Management, BW Stroup Disposal, Kicker Disposal, Swanson & Sons Waste Service and Pro Waste Services, Brenton Davis said in his Tuesday press release.
Erie County residents can bring their recyclables to a number of drop-off sites. A complete list, with locations, dates and instructions, is available at eriecountypa.gov.
Raccoon Refuse ordered to clear transfer site
Raccoon Refuse has more headaches than going bankrupt.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the company to clean up its Spartansburg transfer station. Garbage collected by Raccoon Refuse had been transported to the site for transport to the landfill.
“DEP inspected the Racoon Refuse Transfer Station in Spartansburg yesterday and confirmed that waste is accumulating and spreading beyond authorized dumping and approved storage areas,” the DEP spokesperson said Wednesday. , Tom Decker, in an email to the Erie Times-News.
In a notice delivered to Raccoon Refuse owner Ernest Sell, the DEP on Tuesday ordered the company “to remove and properly dispose of all solid waste” from the facility within 48 hours.
The department will monitor compliance, Decker said.