WESTFIELD, NJ — The town’s annual bulky waste pickup program is again at risk of being tossed in the waste bin.
The municipality postponed the program in 2018 when no contractors bid on the job, and the same may happen again this year if vendors do not reply favorably to a request for proposals for the annual program, the town administrator said.
“We are currently out to bid for the annual bulky waste program,” said Town Administrator Jim Gildea, speaking to the council last week. “Like we saw last year, we are not seeing a lot of vendors interested.”
Bids close on Sept. 11, said Kim Forde, the town's spokeswoman Wednesday.
Officials previously attributed the challenges in the disposal of local bulky waste to changing policies in China on accepting such waste. The Green Sword policy China implemented in 2017 banned the imports of some types of solid waste.
While Westfield eventually secured a contractor to run the bulk waste program last year, it was at a significantly higher cost to participating homeowners. Permits to participate in the bulk waste pickup program sold for $185 per household pickup, $105 more than residents paid to offload their junk in 2017.
Due to the increased price, municipal officials then encouraged residents to purchase the permits and split the cost with neighbors.
Realizing the higher cost of bulky waste pickup, the town in coordination with the Green Team organized a free market at which residents hauled a total of two tons of unwanted goods to the Westfield train station parking lot last May, where members of the public picked up many items for their own use, and the company, GreenDrop, disposed of the rest.
Municipal officials have also offered advice for disposing of bulky waste without the benefit of junk day.
The tips include the following:
Use Conservation Center: Bring a carload of bulk waste or mattresses to the Westfield Conservation Center, 1300 Lamberts Mill Road: For a one-time fee of $30, you can dispose of one carload of bulk waste. You can dispose of mattresses or box springs for up to $25 too. This service open to residents of Westfield only but doesn’t require having a Conservation Center permit.
Metal, Electronics: Recycle your electronics, scrap metal and clothing for free at the Westfield Conservation Center: No permit required. Open to all Union County Residents.
Curb my Clutter: Recycle electronics or clothing for free with Curb My Clutter (Westfield’s new recycling service). Just text “pickup” to 908-356-4107 and Curb My Clutter will schedule a free home pick-up. Learn more at curbmyclutter.com/westfieldnj.
Turn to Facebook: Sell on Westfield NJ Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook page: Post your item on the Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/WestfieldBST. Just ask to join and post your item on the Facebook page.
Go Private: Contact your private garbage hauler. Most haulers will pick up bulk waste for a small fee.
Visit the Town of Westfield's bulky waste page here for more tips.
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh