City Saves on Garbage Collection, Disposal

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Director Coke at a City Council meeting
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PATERSON, NJ – Municipal officials expect to save as much as $300,000 a year in garbage collection and disposal costs under two contracts scheduled for approval by the city council on August 23.

Public Works Director Christopher Coke said the savings stem from two factors. First of all, he said, Paterson had expressed some interest in doing garbage collection itself instead of using a private company, which he believed prompted firms to come in with lower price estimates. Secondly, Coke said, Mayor Jeffrey Jones’ idea to have the city and Paterson Public Schools combine their trash collection contracts also brought the cost down.

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The Jones administration is asking the city council to approve a three-year, $9,964,000 contract with Suburban Disposal of Fairfield to handle trash collections. Suburban currently handles city trash collections with carrying the business name Roselli, Coke said.

Also, the city council is being asked to approve a three-year, $15,985,358 with Sajo Transport of Kearny to dispose of Paterson garbage after it’s collected by Suburban’s trucks. The city’s current garbage disposal company, Veolia Solid Waste of Totowa came in with a bid of $20.5 million.

Councilman William McKoy praised Suburban’s performance in doing a clean job collecting the city’s trash, but asked why the city was not moving ahead with doing the collections using its own personnel and trucks. But Coke said that after calculating the costs – including the need to purchase or lease trucks and the 15-mile trip to Sajo’s transfer station in North Arlington – officials decided it would be cheaper to go with the private hauler.

McKoy then asked if the savings from the contract could be used to rehire terminated public employees so they could help with the city relentless pothole problem. Business Administrator Charles Thomas said the city already had submitted a request with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs seeking permission to restore public works jobs, using cash from the garbage contract savings as well as from an increase in municipal recycling revenue.

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