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Pittsburgh Airport Trash Hauler Overbilled

The company that collects the trash from businesses at the Pittsburgh International Airport is overbilling its users according to an Allegheny County Controller’s audit released Thursday.

Controller Chelsa Wagner said Allied Waste Service of Pittsburgh incorrectly billed tenants from December 2007 through August 2012 resulting in extra charges of about $195,000.

Wagner’s office launched the audit after a customer complained to the Airport Authority, which then passed the complaint to the county’s fiscal watchdog.

The audit found that Allied Waste incorrectly billed tenants for shared refuse containers and that the company charged  “fuel/environmental recover fees” that were not allowed under the contract. 

“I can certainly see if this is a mom and pop operation making their calculations on the back of an envelope, but you would expect a little bit more from an experienced waste disposal provider performing services at an airport,” said the Controller’s Chief Legal Counsel Brad Korinski, who noted that Allied Waste Service of Pittsburgh is a subsidiary of Browning-Ferris Industries. 

Allied Waste General Manager Brent Bowker said they're aware of the audit and that some of the money has been returned to tenants through credits, but that the company doesn't think other charges were overbilled.

Wagner said she believes the airport will take appropriate actions to ensure that the problem doesn't happen again but Korinski admits the office has very little ability to force the issue.

“We’d probably stop payment on the contract [if this were a county vendor] and demand credits until those tenants remain whole. We do not have that power in this case.  We can just do our audit findings, make the recommendations, and send them over to the Airport Authority,” said Korinski.