LAKE COMO, NJ — DeLisa Waste Services will continue collecting recyclables in Lake Como for the next three years.

At its December 19 meeting, the borough council awarded a new $141,000 contract to the Tinton Falls-based company for 2020 through 2022, which breaks down to $42,000 for next year, $47,000 for the second year and $52,000 for the third year. That compares to the current five-year $121,000 contract, which expires at the year’s end.

The only other bidder — Houston-based Waste Management inc.— submitted a proposal that was more than double DeLisa’s bid, according to Borough Clerk/Administrator Louise Mekosh.

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Borough officials also approached neighboring Belmar to see if it would be interested in taking over Lake Como’s recycling collection — in light of its decision in November to bring the operation in-house, Mekosh said. However, Belmar officials are concentrating on ensuring a smooth roll-out of its own effort, beginning in January.

READ MORE: Belmar to Dump $1.1 Million Recycling Bid, Move Curbside Collection to Public Works

For the past several years, municipalities across the United States have seen their recycling costs skyrocket after China — the destination for most of America’s recyclables —placed a ban on imports of various types of plastic and paper, and tightened its standards on what materials it would accept.

Those changes continue to ripple through this country, as states, counties and municipalities are struggling with how to address the issue, without having to place the burden on the public through rising costs and more stringent recycling regulations.

The council’s decision to enter into a shorter three-year contract was based on a recommendation by Mekosh, who said that a new recycling processing center is expected to open in Monmouth County by 2021, which could trigger a decrease in recycling costs. This would come at the same time the borough would be looking to enter into another new recycling agreement.

Earlier this year, DeLisa was awarded another five-year contract for garbage collection services in Lake Como. The total $416,000 award breaks down as follows: $78,000 for this year; $80,600 for next year; $83,200 in the third year; $85,800 in the fourth year; and $88,400 in the fifth year.

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