RARITAN, NJ - The Raritan Borough Council held its first virtual meeting on April 14, and using the Zoom program as a platform, Mayor Zachary Bray, council members, the borough administrator, clerk, attorney and engineer discussed issues, passed resolutions and introduced the 2020 municipal budget.

Much of the meeting centered on trash talk. Under normal circumstances, starting April 18, a few hundred residents would bring their grass cuttings to the DPW building for recycling.

Now, under the social-distancing restrictions, the mayor raised alternative options.

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He said that one option the DPW could work with would be to have residents put their grass cutting at the curb for pickup on Saturday. The debris would have to be put in either a bin or paper bag, not plastic.  

This form of disposal would also have DPW workers put in a six-day week with the accompanying overtime.

“I don’t think most people still have bins or paper bags large enough for the clippings,” said Bray. “Everyone just uses plastic bags, and this is not the time for them to have to go out to purchase special containers.”

The second option, which was ultimately decided upon, is for residents to put their grass clippings out at the curb for pick up with their regular garbage. It was determined that it will be less expensive for the borough to dispose of the waste than to run overtime crews.

Councilman Michael Patente said there is a modified garbage pickup schedule in place with three trucks out on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Bulk garbage pickup has been cancelled for April.

On a more positive note, Bray noted that thanks to Linda Reina Shulte, community programs and events committee coordinator, there were two Easter bunnies out in Raritan April 11. He said that approximately 300 cars passed, with children waving to the big white bunnies.

The next virtual council meeting will be held April 28 at 7 p.m.