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Eatontown discusses garbage collection

By KAYLA J. MARSH
Staff Writer

EATONTOWN — Borough officials will once again go out to bid for the furnishing of labor, equipment and services for the collection and disposal of residential solid household waste following some difficulties with the initial process.

“We recently awarded contracts for waste from our condos and apartment complexes, but within that bid spec was a request for bids for household garbage,” said Borough Administrator George Jackson at the Jan. 27 Borough Council meeting.

“We were not satisfied with the bid responses, and quite frankly this is the first time we have gone out and we learned that there were some deficiencies in the information that we provided, which probably kept our bidders from coming in as competitively as they may have.”

Frank Cannella Jr., director of the Department of Public Works, said he is happy that the council allowed the reauthorization of the bid for the residential sanitation collection for single-family and mobile homes.

“When we went out to bid, the numbers came back high, and there were a couple of factors in that, and that was mostly because of lack of information that was within the spec,” he said.

Factors involving tipping fees and whether or not bulk-pickup was included, Cannella said, hurt the contractor who was potentially bidding on the project.

“Bulk service will stay the same, and the DPW will continue to handle that,” he said. “The other information was the potential bidder did not have an idea of exactly how many tons of garbage we collected, so giving them a historical breakdown was important so they would be able to gauge exactly how much labor it was going to take for them to collect.

“I think now we are going to see more competition in terms of the bids that are going to get turned in, and I believe we are definitely going to see a better number then what got turned in the last time.”

Cannella said he believes the timing is right for the borough to move forward with this opportunity for a number of reasons, including the fact that for the 2016 capital budget, he has requested a new, automated sanitation truck valued between $250,000 and $290,000.

“I am currently understaffed by four employees, so I believe that what I am proposing will benefit the community,” Cannella said, making it clear to council that with this proposal, no one currently on staff will lose their job.

“The two sanitation workers who currently provide the service to the borough will just get reassigned within the department,” he said.

Cannella said the borough currently operates its sanitation system under the old guidelines of a task system, which means, once workers complete their job, they go home.

“Currently, those two employees make up approximately $230,000 [and] these particular trucks [we have] take extreme maintenance, so labor and parts have continually increased from 2012 to 2015,” he said. “The goal would be to take the two current employees and reassign them, and then I would ask council for one additional hire, which would be for our mechanical garage.”

Cannella said the savings from outsourcing the waste collection and not hiring three additional employees would be a nice benefit to the borough.

“The current cost to us is approximately $300,000 per year to provide the service,” he said. “I am confident to say in the long run it is going to save us money.

“I could be standing here asking the council to let me hire four additional employees, but I’m not. I’m only asking for one … and in today’s value, we would be saving $264,000 by not having those three employees.”

He said that the department’s current trucks would be auctioned off.

“From the research that I have done, the trucks value between $50,000 and $100,000, so we would see that one-time income,” he said.

Cannella said advertising for the contract goes out in early February and needs to be out a minimum of 60 days and then would be awarded around April.

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