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Monmouth County landfill employees will move to new positions

The operation of the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls has been transferred to Waste Management of New Jersey Inc. in an agreement that will save county taxpayers $17.3 million during the next five years.

Thomas A. Arnone, director of the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, made the announcement during the board’s March 25 workshop meeting.

In December, the county’s governing body authorized the award and execution of a landfill facility service agreement with Waste Management of New Jersey.

Under the terms of the agreement, the corporation will operate the reclamation center. Garbage from the county’s municipalities is transported to the facility.

Arnone previously said the county is not selling the landfill property or the infrastructure at the reclamation center, but is hiring a corporation to operate the sprawling facility.

Speaking during the workshop meeting, Arnone said county officials promised the employees who worked at the landfill that every effort would be made to save their jobs as the switch to a private operator was completed.

Arnone said that promise was fulfilled. He said there were 66 employees at the reclamation center; five individuals who were eligible for retirement have retired; one individual has joined Waste Management of New Jersey; and the remaining employees have received jobs in other county departments with the same salary they were being paid at the reclamation center.

“We did a good thing here. We saved the taxpayers money and we kept people employed,” Arnone said.

The director previously said the decision to have the county step away from operating the landfill was made because the deficit associated with the facility was “getting deeper and deeper, through no fault of the county employees who work at the landfill.”

In other news from the commissioners’ March 25 workshop meeting, no action was taken on the 2021 county budget, which has been introduced, but not adopted.

County officials are delaying the adoption of the budget as they await guidance from the federal government regarding how the latest round of stimulus funding the county receives will be permitted to be used.

The commissioners have said they want to consider using the stimulus funding to help offset a projected increase in the county tax levy that will be paid by residential and commercial property owners.

And, the commissioners said efforts are being made to hold the Monmouth County Fair from July 21-25. The fair, which is held at the East Freehold Showgrounds in Freehold Township each summer, was cancelled in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The commissioners indicated their desire is to hold the fair this year, possibly with certain accommodations made as the pandemic continues. Additional information and a decision regarding the 2021 fair is expected to be provided in the near future.

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