Council decides to continue outsourcing recycling pickup

| 29 Sep 2011 | 11:41

    West Milford — The township will continue to contract out the collection of curbside recycling following a decision by the council Wednesday night. In-house collecting had been considered; however, following reports by the Recycling Committee and the township’s Department of Public Works, it was eventually rejected. The township is operating without a long-term agreement for the pickup of its recycling. Instead there is a month-to-month agreement at a cost of $50,000 per month with the contractor, Blue Diamond. Jeff Simmers, chair of the Beautification and Recycling Committee, presented a report that advised the status quo for now, but in the long-term a change is recommended. The report read, “The committee strongly believes that the township needs to pursue a path towards takeover of the curbside recycling program.” The report continued, “If structured correctly, it could provide more control and financial savings to the township. However, until the township labor rates are brought more inline with our neighboring town, this goal will be difficult to realize.” Neighboring towns pay between $21,500 and $41,800 per year for a laborer and between $32,000 and $45,000 for truck drivers. West Milford starts at $27,000 per year for a laborer and $50,000 per year for truck drivers. Overall, the recycling committee estimated it would cost $3.451 million for the township to takeover the pickup of recycling for a five year period. That’s $67,638 more than the most recent contractor bid of $3.384 million for the same five-year period. Rich McFadden, the township engineer, presented his report on West Milford’s performance in collecting recyclables in comparison to other towns in Passaic County. For 2005, West Milford appears seventh in a list of 16 towns collecting 1.0617 tons of recyclable items per capita. The total tonnage collected in 2005 was 29,921. West Paterson heads the list with 3.1369 tons per capita. McFadden also said the income from the sale of recyclables is increasing, “For paper recycling we were receiving $58.50 per ton at the end of 2006. That price went up to $78 per ton in February and $91 per ton in March. If the rate for March were to stay the same for the year, we would realize an increase from recycling over the year of $125,000.” The consensus of the council was to continue its current month-to-month contract through July of this year with a more permanent agreement, following a bidding process, starting on Aug. 1 for either a two- or five-year period depending on bids received.