Garbage detail

Residents and businesses need a trash tutorial

The city’s Public Works Department is seeking the public’s help in correcting bad garbage-disposal habits.
Recycling is one issue. Public Works Director Gary Chmielewski said that proper containers need to be used.
Currently, residents are using plastic bags for their recyclables, mixing recyclables with regular garbage, and mixing different types of recyclables together, which are all forbidden by city ordinance, according to Chmielewski.
The city’s sanitation company may not pick up the bags if the recyclables are put out that way. But if they do, it creates problems for the city.
“Plastic bags are not recyclables. They get caught in the machines,” Chmielewski said. “These contaminated items ruin the whole load that they dump.”
Then instead of the city making money on the recyclable load, it loses it.
“If there are 10 trucks and two are contaminated,” Chmielewski said, “we get charged back for that.”
He urged residents to put their recyclables in a container or crate, even if it’s a small one.

Know your trash

Mixing recyclables with regular garbage is not allowed.
“The problem here is that there are just too many items put in with recyclables that are not recyclables,” Chmielewski said.
If the items are kept separate, “It’s a benefit for the city. Our recycling numbers go up. And we get money for them,” Chmielewski said. “And it’s better for the environment. If everything recyclable is able to be taken as they are supposed to, there’s less going into the landfill.”
Some residents are also inappropriately mixing different types of recyclables.
Paper shouldn’t be combined with cardboard. “With cardboard boxes, break them down and put them in another box, and they’ll pick them up,” Chmielewski said.
For a pamphlet on procedures, visit the Public Works Office at City Hall, 630 Ave. C. The information can also be viewed on the city website at
All regular garbage should be put at curbside in a hard plastic or other 32-gallon can, Chmielewski said.
Many residents simply put plastic bags of garbage on the curb. “Animals get at them and they rip them open,” Chmielewski said. “Then they blow all over town.”

Broadway receptacles not for household garbage

Public Works has 400 trash receptacles placed throughout the city. Some residents are using the public cans for household trash instead of for the disposal of trash by pedestrians.
Bayonne’s DPW workers sometimes go through the household trash thrown into the public containers, and if there’s any indication who is throwing the residential refuse there, the city takes action.
“We then notify people via a letter that this is not for their garbage,” Chmielewski said.
Because of this practice, some streets in town cannot have garbage cans placed there.
The city is also asking businesses to help stem the tide of garbage on the city’s main shopping avenue and other places in Bayonne.
Chmielewski said an ordinance requires that any food-selling businesses, whether it’s a candy store, grocery store, or takeout place, place a garbage can outside. Many don’t follow the guideline.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at

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