Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

In-House Recycling Plan Gets Rolling

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

In-House Recycling Plan Gets Rolling

Article excerpt

NEW MILFORD -- Early returns have been favorable for an in-house recycling program begun to improve efficiency of weekly collections, according to the borough's public works chief.

The new program began on May 5 at residences and then was expanded to apartment complexes. It is intended to improved a "really, really bad" experience the borough had with its prior hauler of recyclables, said Vincent Cahill, superintendent of the Department of Public Works.

"The volume of phone calls was horrendous," Cahill said about complaints he would typically have to field on collection day.

"Residents deserve to know that, when they put materials out on collection day, they'll be gone by time they get home," he added.

The borough now uses municipal-owned trucks and temporary laborers from private companies.

Officials never publicly announced they planned to institute the new program. The reason for that isn't patently clear, but it seems they were, at least initially, unable to disclose plans because their discussions took place behind closed doors.

Negotiations with the previous hauler were part of the conversation, because officials had an opportunity to renew the hauler's contract. But, Cahill said, officials decided in November the borough would pick up recyclables on its own. Then, in December, the council authorized the purchase of a new garbage truck for $200,700 from Hackensack-based Deluxe International Trucks Inc.

A month later, it awarded a second contract, for $405,884, to the same firm for two more. The costs were covered under two bond ordinances the council adopted last year.

But the council still hasn't formally hired laborers.

Instead, Cahill said, the DPW is "mixing and matching" laborers from different companies to find the best fit for the new program.

The DPW "is hiring labor out of [its] operating budget, and it's below the bid threshold," Borough Administrator/Clerk Christine Demiris said.

Cahill said nine laborers are used on collection day: three-man crews on each truck.

No schedule change

Using private laborers means the DPW's 19-man staff isn't being overstretched and, Cahill said, the borough does not have to cover the outside laborers' insurance. …

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