WAYNE, NJ – At this week’s Wayne Town Council meeting, Councilman-At-Large Joe Schweighardt’s Clothing Bin Ban Ordinance was due to come up for a vote.  Residents stood up against the ordinance with a barrage of arguments that caused Schweighardt himself to say: “We should look for an alternative way of resolving this issue.”

At the January 15 Town Council meeting, Schweighardt first mentioned his interest in banning clothing bins. See story

TAPinto Wayne’s article received a lot of attention on Facebook with many comments against the idea of a bin ban.  When the ordinance was introduced at the February 5 meeting, several residents spoke up against it, but it was at this past meeting where there were several passionate residents, and representatives of clothing bins that came to speak against the ban.

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Dr. Linda Nardone stepped up to the podium during public comments and spoke on behalf of the Wayne environmental commission, a board she serves on. “As a scientist, I only speak to data,” she began.  “The genesis of the ordinance seems to have been two comments at a Town Council meeting in January.” Nardone then went on to mention the unsightly conditions that Schweighardt brought up when he first spoke of this and the Mayor’s remarks about the difficulty in policing the bin owners.

Nardone was as polished, professional and prepared as her purple hair was unconventional.

She spoke of the environmental commissions observances of the bins over the last thirty days and reported nothing unsightly like Schweighardt had mentioned.  She then told the council that over the last five years, there had only been nine complaints in total reported about the bins.

“Given this data,” said Nardone. “A total ban seems unwarranted, an overreaction and draconian.”

Lastly, Nardone spoke about the environmental impact of not having clothing bins based on data that was collected in 2019. “We would have three-hundred and twenty-fivee additional tons into trash and ultimately into landfills. That is a significant negative environmental impact.” 

Monetarily, there would also be an impact to Wayne taxpayers, according to Nardone, who mentioned ‘tipping fees,’ or the cost of curbside pick-up to landfills. She said that three-hundred and twenty-five additional tons would cost the the Township $52,000.

Three representatives of three different for-profit bin owners also spoke to the council, who spoke of their professionalism regarding pick-up, cleanliness and how they help charitable organizations.

Jane Boudjouk, a member of Saint Michael’s Church spoke: “We go out of our way to serve our community, and it’s no secret that right now that a lot of churches are struggling to find ways to generate revenue.” She then explained that the church receives $2,700 per year to have a clothing bin on their property

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Ritter spoke against the ordinance in a strong, passionate voice, saying: “In five years, Wayne has received only nine complaints about these clothing bins. Less than two per year.” She equates banning all clothing bins because of this is as: “tantamount to swatting a fly with a cannon.”

Sixth Ward Councilman Jon Ettman told his fellow members that he would not support the ordinance. “This would ultimately defeat good purpose,” he said.

Schwieghardt spoke last: “I’ve listened carefully, I’ve looked at the materials that you folk have sent. It has, perhaps, raised a question or two in my mind.”

Schweighardt then moved to table the vote on his own ordinance and the motion was passed 7-0.

This just means that we may see this issue come up again.