Government

The Politics of Leaf Bags in Edison

8ccf8ceb272b554f9e07_a4a994eee61873a1f173_Leaf_Bag_File_Photo.jpg
Credits: Edison Township
bd9076ea8d040506a314_3b1d7f80730a6daf2e03_campaign.jpg
8ccf8ceb272b554f9e07_a4a994eee61873a1f173_Leaf_Bag_File_Photo.jpg

EDISON, NJ – As fifth-largest town in state of New Jersey, Edison faces a multitude of problems ranging from millions of dollars in tax appeals, personnel issues within various departments, fires at facilities, aging fire equipment, lawsuits and a 12 percent tax hike in two years.

The resolution to fund leaf bags this year was voted down in a 3-3 tie vote Wednesday, effectively rejecting spending $65,000 for 200,000 biodegradable paper leaf bags through the Somerset County Cooperative, which has a low-cost purchase contract with supplier Dano Enterprises of Stamford, Conn.

Edison's leaf bags, through the Somerset County Co-op, would cost .325-cents apiece or roughly $1.63 for five bags.

Sign Up for E-News

 “I don’t think its money well worth spent for leaf bags.  I think the $65,000 can be spent better somewhere else in the budget,” Councilman Wayne Mascola said.

An online comparison revealed the equivalent bags at Lowes sell for $1.98 and at Home Depot for $1.88, a difference of roughly $0.25 per five-pack.

The $65,000 cost was to be paid with money from a state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant that Edison receives based on the volume of recyclables the town annually collects.

“Some Council members may not have realized that the entire cost for our leaf bags would be paid with our state recycling grant, not with tax dollars,” Business Administrator Maureen Ruane said. “Their vote could delay Edison's timely purchase and delivery of leaf bags to our residents.”

One resident at the recent council meeting questioned spending money on leaf bags when the money could be used elsewhere and raised concerns over using township employees from DPW to distribute the bags when they could be doing other work.

Former Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano ended leaf bag program in 2011 saving an estimated $102,000 per year according to NJToday.net. In the same 2013 article, then Mayoral candidates Thomas Lankey said. “If all politics is local — then leaf bags are as local, as local gets!”

Lankey seized the opportunity to make leaf bags a 2013 election issue. In a Lankey campaign mailer it stated, "Ricigliano took away your free leafbags to save money! ... Tom Lankey will stop all that waste... And bring back your leafbags too!” In late October of 2013, Lankey gave away leaf bags as part of his mayoral campaign at Democrat headquarters in the Tano Mall.

Lankey is expected to ask the Township Council to reconsider the matter at its September 9 meeting.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Edison

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20, 1:00 PM

Piscataway

Community Blood Drive

Health & Wellness

Tue, February 20, 2:30 PM

Edison Public Library, Edison

How to Buy a Computer

Education

Tue, February 20, 2:30 PM

Edison Public Library, Edison

How to Buy a Computer

Education

East Brunswick Rabbi Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child

February 19, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Aryeh Goodman, 35, the rabbi from the  East Brunswick Chabad Learning Center has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was one of thirty men charged with having sex with the teenager over a four-week period.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, Goodman ...

New Brunswick Prisoner Reentry Site to Open Tuesday

February 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who has made prisoner reentry programs his major focus, will be on hand Tuesday to open a new site on Livingston Avenue. 

McGreevey runs the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals. The opening is set for 11 a.m. at  57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J.

Somerset Patriots Sign Frontier League All-Star RHP Randy McCurry

February 17, 2018

The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of right-handed relief pitcher Randy McCurry for the 2018 season.

“I’m excited to play in the Atlantic League this year,” said McCurry. “It’ll be a transition for me but I am ready to face some really good competition and help the team win.”

McCurry enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...