CLARK, NJ – All Clark homeowners will receive a new recycling bin before the end of the year as part of the Township’s new recycling contract. The Township has passed a resolution that authorizes “the Mayor and/or Business Administrator to execute a Shared Services Agreement with the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority for Recycling Collection Services effective January 1, 2019.” As part of this agreement, 96-gallon containers will be delivered to each property before mid-December of this year.

According to Business Administrator John Laezza, the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority met with the Township earlier this year to begin negotiations for a new recycling contract. Laezza outlined the negotiation process during the Town Council meeting on July 16.

“The recycling program, not only in Clark but in the State of New Jersey, is in a state of chaos,” Laezza said during the meeting. “Our recycling consultant/contract that we’ve had for the last 17 plus years that I’ve been here had indicated to us that the $80,000 a year that they’ve been charging us plus disposal costs will now [increase to over] $300,000.”

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“So, we went out and sought areas where we could get a better deal. Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority, which takes our bulky waste and we’ve been very positive with their program, indicated to us that they do recycling. They have a program, not only in Plainfield but [also] in the Township of Fanwood,” Laezza continued.

Laezza explained that the Township will pay a total of about $275,000 for the containers, in monthly installments over the duration of the five-year contract. The containers will belong to the property, not the property owner, and therefore must remain with the assigned property if a property owner decides to move.

In addition to purchasing the containers, the Township will also pay labor costs beginning at $175,000 for the first year and increasing 3% annually. Ultimately, Laezza expressed that the contract “will allow our recycling program to cost about $275,000 a year for five years.”

Though Laezza believes that this contract is beneficial for Clark, he understands that other future administrations may not share in this sentiment. “Each year, it’s determined that the governing body in that subsequent year will [either] appropriate for this contract or will have the ability to get out of this contract,” Laezza explained. “I’m not tying any hands of any new governing body that may come in from year to year over five years.”

This new agreement comes on the heels of widespread recycling changes affecting Clark. As reported last month, household recycling will be subjected to stricter guidelines as a result of changes in the recycling industry as a whole.