Possible recycling changes on tap for township

West Milford. Changes are possibly coming to the town’s recycling operation.

12 Dec 2019 | 01:22

Township officials said Dec. 4 that there may be changes to how it deals with recycling in the coming year.

At the Dec. 4 Township Council meeting, Acting Administrator Bob Casey said there will be some changes to the way the municipality handles recycling.

“The Recycling Center should not be open to residents with curbside collection,” Casey said in describing a reduction in hours at the center. “We want the residents to put out everything for curbside collection. We want the trucks (picking up) full.”

The hours at the center are proposed to come down to three days a week, Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. in order to save money, he said.

Businesses would still be able to bring their recycling to the center, he said.

“We run a recycling center for what you don’t get picked up at the curb,” Casey said.

Those materials include electronics, tires, metals, empty paint cans and used motor oil, according to Casey.

The center will continue to accept grass and leaves as well, he said.

The changes would reduce the cost of a full time employee and benefits, which Casey estimated at $65,000.

Casey said the changes would not take effect until the town advertises them to the public and there is a discussion.

Council members also unanimously approved a six-month contract with Atlantic Coast Fibers LLC, of Passaic, to pick up recycling from residents’ homes with an option to expand the contract for 12 months.

Atlantic was the lowest of two bidders on the contract, charging $20.61 per ton of curbside paper and $45.60 per ton for commingled recyclable materials.

Casey said that last year the town disposed of 1,600 tons in paper and 1,500 tons of commingled materials.

Processing costs are about $90 per ton at the moment, he said.

The contract allows for the town to get a credit of 70 percent of any profit gained at what the material can be sold for based on the current market price, which fluctuates by the month.

That amount is then deducted from the processing fee.

“The goal is to get to $0,” Casey said.

Two years ago, Casey said, the market was better for the materials and the township gained about $50,000 in revenue from the sale of the recycling.

That has changed, however, and the market has “gone south” in the past year, resulting in an estimated worst case cost to the town of about $90,000 per year to get rid of about 3,000 tons of the material, Casey said.

“I’m hoping the market gets better,” he said.

Council President Peter McGuinness said the township should not be in the recycling business to either make a profit or a loss.

New Recycling Regulations for 2020
Due to new recycling restrictions at the recycling processing plant, only plastics with the number 1, 2 and 5 will be accepted on curbside collection day.
Pizza boxes are no longer considered recyclable. Hard cover books can be recycled as long as the hard cover is removed.