There's still no start-up date, though, for expansion of recycling to the remaining two-thirds of the city.
"The rest of the schedule will depend upon what comes out of the 1991 budget process and what comes out of the recommendations of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee," said Alfred Dezzi, the city's recycling czar.
After the Northeast expansion, 169,000 households will be served by a growing city fleet that collects newspapers and mixed glass, metal and plastic beverage containers on the work day before the neighborhood's day for trash collection. The areas now served are in the Northeast and northwest parts of the city.
About 70 percent of the homes in the recycling areas are putting out materials for collection, Dezzi said, with participation in some northwest neighborhoods reaching 80 percent.
In addition to Holmesburg and Torresdale, the Northeast expansion will include homes around Pennypack Circle, Holme Circle, Normandy Village, Lexington Park, Morrell Park, Modena Park, Parkwood Manor, Pleasant Hill, Andalusia and Northeast Industrial Park.
The expansion to those neighborhoods was delayed from a planned October start-up, while the city ordered a dozen more specially designed trucks - and took a tough look at whether to start shifting away from curbside pickups toward the use of neighborhood collection points. That question still has not been resolved in the case of the unscheduled neighborhoods.
The Northeast expansion, recommended by a Goode administration task force last month in spite of the city's looming budget deficit, will cost the city about $289,000 a year, or about 10 cents per household per day, Dezzi said.
Costs such as salaries, operations and truck purchases will be largely offset by savings on landfill and trash-collection costs, he said, and by the $5 per ton the city is receiving for recyclables collected in the Northeast.
Mandatory recycling began last January in some northwest neighborhoods, including Mount Airy and Germantown; in May in other northwest sections, including Roxborough and Manayunk; and in July in a chunk of the Northeast on the west side of the Boulevard and north of Cottman. A voluntary pilot project started some northwest neighborhoods on the recycling road in September 1987.
The city is now seeking lower fees for commercial processing of recyclables collected in the two northwest recycling areas, where contracts will expire no later than March 25. The city, which is paying Waste Management of North America $24.75 a ton to process all recyclables from the northwest areas, will see if it can cut a better deal by awarding separate contracts for newsprint and mixed containers.
In the Northeast, however, the city gets $5 a ton from Waste Management, under an earlier contract that includes the area of the upcoming expansion. That contract, which expires in July 1993, was struck when the market for recyclables became more favorable.