Residents may see twice weekly trash pickups resume this April. Last March, the town council from year-round, to only June through September, and once-a-week pickups the other eight months of the year.
At last week’s meeting, the council tentatively approved budgeting that would allow for twice weekly pickup to begin in April and run through September. If that change is finalized at a future meeting, once-a-week pickups would be reduced from eight months of the year, to six.
According to township administrator Brian Campion, the 2012 proposed township budget suggests switching from Suburban Disposal, Inc. to a different waste removal company, which would save the township about $20,000. The mayor and administrator proposed using the savings to pay for the additional two months of more frequent pickup. The cost to the township for the increase would be negligible, Campion said. The overall cost for trash removal would go from about $775K last year to about $776K this year, he said.
Last year, the council said reducing the frequency of pickups saved the township $60,000 over what it spent on waste removal in 2010.
Councilman Harry Williams questioned the need for the change, citing that overall tonnage collected in Mahwah is down from previous years. “If we are collecting less garbage, it seems contradictory to increase the number of pickups.”
According to Mayor Bill Laforet, the additional pickups were proposed as a response to public demand. “It’s not about the volume of trash, it’s about the smell during the so-called ‘stinky months,’” he said. Campion added that the mayor’s office received complaints from residents last year that piling up trash was starting to smell, especially during warmer weather in April and May.
Though the council tentatively Ok’ed the increase in trash pickups, Campion said the new waste management contract will need to be formally approved by the council at a future meeting before the change takes place.
Laforet said the extra two months of twice-weekly pickups are “very important for the people of Mahwah.”