Whatever actions the City Council takes at its Oct. 21 meeting regarding Bayonne’s new garbage and recycling contracts, longtime pickup routines are likely to get dumped. But that’s a good thing, according to a city official.
Public Works Director Gary Chmielewski said that whatever company/companies wins the two-, three- or three-plus-years contracts, there will likely be changes in the ways residents’ garbage and recycling are collected.
Those changes should result in less garbage-truck traffic on a number of days and less confusion for collectors about which day is a garbage pickup and which is a recycling pickup.
“What we’re trying to do is have everyone in the city done in one day,” Chmielewski said. “You’re still going to have two pickups every week, but the whole city is going to be done in one day.”
Garbage collections would change from the current ward pickup system, according to Chmielewski.
“There had been confusion in the past whether it was a garbage or a recycling day,” Chmielewski said. “Now, there’s going to be no confusion for the garbage men, because it will be one day for one, and one day for the other.”
As of Friday, Oct. 16, there had been only one bidder for the contracts, and Chmielewski preferred not to name the company until the time had elapsed for all bids to be submitted. But the tentative agenda for the Oct. 21 meeting, released later that afternoon, listed Suburban Disposal of Fairfield as the only bidder for both the solid waste removal and recycling collections.
According to resolutions on the agenda, Suburban’s bid on the solid waste removal three-year term contract was $4.44 million and on the recycling three-year term contract, $2.4 million. Both contracts would begin Nov. 1.
“What we’re trying to do is have everyone in the city done in one day.” – Gary Chmielewski
Both contracts also provided for two one-year options, according to the agenda.
Chmielewski said the additional-years option, which could be one year or two, would not increase cost for the services, since they would be locked in at the lower rate in the original three-year agreements.
The City Council can decide to award one or both contracts to Suburban, or not to award them, Chmielewski said. If the contracts are not awarded, “emergency” contracts for one or both would be made, until another company was chosen.
However, when the city agreed to emergency contracts in August, controversy ensued.
There was no problem with the solid waste garbage pickup, which Suburban was handling. But the recycling contract with Elite Waste Services was terminated following a week of missed collections and numerous public complaints.
Suburban took over the emergency recycling contract at the time as well.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.