Clifton Council Discusses New Garbage Cart and Reduced Pickup to Offset Rising Costs
BY AMIE KOLODZIEJ / THE CLIFTON TIMES
To watch DeFeo's entire presentation Click Here.
The Clifton Council reviewed options at the July 19th Council meeting for its upcoming bid proposal for a new garbage contract. The current contract with Roselle is expiring after 5 years.
Consultant Wayne DeFeo of DeFeo Associates presented options for the bid proposal to mitigate the increased costs in garbage collection seen across NJ state. DeFeo explained that "we are in a really bad state with recycling collection statewide, and nationwide" due to issues related to labor costs, staff shortages and supply chain issues. Several NJ towns have reported missed collections for days and weeks because of labor shortages to fulfill municipal contracts.
As NJ municipalities are renegotiating expiring garbage collection contracts, most are seeing price increases from 45% at a minimum up to 150% higher than 5 years ago. City Manager Nick Villano indicated for Clifton a 45% increase would be 2.5 Million.
DeFeo’s proposal includes the adoption of a 95-gallon garbage can or "garbage cart" for all residential garbage collection, that would help offset these issues and mitigate increasing costs. The cart includes a bar that can be used to mechanically load it into the garbage truck, thus reducing staff from 3 to 2 per truck. DeFeo indicated it has become "an industry standard to move towards fewer staff on the trucks to save costs."
Additional benefits of the garbage carts include lower injury rates and workers comp claims. Traditional collection of waste has a high injury rate, DeFeo explained "reducing injury has a direct impact on the cost of service."
To further contain costs, DeFeo also recommended limiting bulk waste pickup, as the regular schedule for bulk waste is inefficient and "one of the most expensive services for residents." A low percentage of residents use bulk pickup on the scheduled day, but it requires the collector to cover the entire route. DeFeo suggests limiting bulk pickup by requiring residents to pre-register for a requested bulk pickup day. Council members questioned how this would be handled, by phone, email or a website or app, and if Clifton would be required to handle it. DeFeo explained the city can include this as part of the bid and require the collector to handle bulk pickup registration.
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