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Kinnelon Trash Talk About Less Pickups Continues

Borough garbage services may be reduced to one-day-a-week pickups.

The is considering decreasing the number of garbage pickup days in the borough from two times per week to one.

As the borough is currently in the process of going out to bid for garbage services, Department of Public Works Superintendent John Whitehead has been working with Borough Attorney Mark Madaio and CFO Donna Mollineaux to prepare specifications.

Included in those specifications, as outlined during Thursday's council meeting, are pricing options based on the twice weekly pickup, once weekly pickup, implementing a single-stream recycling program and the cost to work with a one-, two- and three-year contract.

"We have never entertained a once-a-week-pickup," Whitehead said.

Whitehead did not have an exact cost estimate for how much could be saved by moving to a once weekly trash pickup schedule, though he was confident it could yield a significant savings in time and trucking costs. The single-stream recycling program that will be included in the bid specifications could also save the borough money by encouraging more recycling, Whitehead said.

"I think single-stream is the way to go, it's the way of the future," he said.

With single-stream recycling, all recyclables are picked up together and later sorted at a recycling facility. Councilman Dan O'Dougherty agreed that the single-stream recycling program could be a positive change for residents.

"You won't have to store [recyclables] because everything will be taken at the street," he said.

Whitehead reference and said the municipality saw a 10 percent increase in recycling tonnage since implementation of the program.

The once weekly garbage pickup schedule would not seem to have an effect on trash tonnage. But Whitehead said the borough could experience trouble with trash elsewhere if the number of pickup days was decreased.

"On a single pickup [schedule], you may see a little more littering or illegal dumping," he said.

The council members presented arguments for both the once weekly and twice weekly pickup schedules. Councilman Jim Freda said he was concerned that the once weekly pickup could be problematic in the summer months, particularly in sections of the borough where homes do not have garages. Freda said residents may have trouble with bears if garbage is piling up on their properties. Whitehead agreed that bears could become a nuisance if more garbage is left out, no matter the season.

"Last year, we had such a mild winter the bears never hibernated," he said.

Earlier in the discussion, however, Whitehead told council members that with the two pickup days, the garbage haulers notice a much lighter load on the Friday pickup, as many residents are only utilizing the Tuesday pickup day. Whitehead noted that some families do enjoy putting out smaller amounts of trash more often with the two days though.

Mayor Bob Collins said he would hate to see the borough move to a once weekly pickup schedule and have residents forget once or twice in a row to put their garbage out and have to hold it for longer. But Whitehead said community outreach would be a key component if the borough were to move forward with a decreased pickup schedule.

What do you think? Would you mind if the borough switched to a once weekly garbage pickup schedule? Participate in our poll below and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Larry Huyler August 10, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Once a week is cheaper than twice (less fuel use for the trash collector to buy). As for worrying about those residents who "forget" once or twice in a row to put their garbage out and have to hold it for longer, it will only take missing trash day once for them to get the message. When considering the bids, have the contractor supply each home with 1 trash can, and 1 recyclable trash can. By having both it will cut back on the regular trash, encourage recycling, and take less labor to sort the recyclable, thus turning a larger profit margin.
Annmarie August 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Once a week is absolutely ridiculous! Hanging on to garbage for an entire week is only going to exacerbate the bear problem. We are a family of six - once a week pick up would be very problematic. Plus we do not have room to store a weeks worth of garbage in the garage. Can you imagine the odor!?! Come on council - we hardly have any services to begin with in this town and we have pathetic ball fields. Now you are considering cutting garbage pick up? Really?
Hidden Agendas August 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Once a week pickup is a mistake. Currently our contractor uses an open top container on the second pickup and garbage is strewn all over the streets. Asking the public to hold a weeks worth of trash is insane. We have bears raccoons and other wildlife attacking our garbage twice a week and asking Isis to store garbage any longer than we already do is outrageous. Someone over at the council should figure out the on e a week pickup will not save any of us anything on our tax bill. The trucks have a finite capacity and if the volume or tonage is the same they will need more tricks to collect the trash. Tell the residents our taxes will go down by x dollars a year ( which I will not) you guys will find a way to spend any savings. Also, why don we know ahead of time whats on your agenda so people can voice their concerns at a meeting? We taxpayers pay for a web site that has a place for agendas and minutes and there are none up there. Why? You don't want the public to know what you are up to thats why! This way ASF and others can say people never came and spoke out!
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan (Editor) August 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Hidden Agendas, the garbage bids discussion was listed on last night's council agenda which is obtainable by the borough clerk,
Pat James August 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Once a week pick up will be a huge problem especially in Fayson Lakes where most residents do not have a garage or in some cases do not have easy access to the basement. Our house is on a hill and if the trash is stored in the basement, it would require us to drag it up outdoor steps which is a burden and in the winter it would be treacherous. We already have regular visits by bears who have broken into our shed where we store the garbage cans and they have carried away full cans on occasion. Not to mention the visitng racoons. If you have garbage stored for a longer time, it will make it much more attractive to them as it will be "fragrant".
Richard Dean August 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I'm not a Kinnelon resident so it does not involve me directly at this time but suppose the other boroughs such as my Butler decided to do the same thing. I will point out that back in the 1960's at least in Butler garbage was collected only weekly in winter and twice weekly in summer. Those were the times before plastic trash bags had been invented so almost everything went directly into the metal cans. I say almost because nearly everyone had something in their back yards to burn the papers, cardboard, etc., in things like masonry fireplaces or used steel drums. This cut down on the amount of gabage collected thus lower costs and it is still a common practice in many non urban areas of nearby states such as NY and PA I am told by friends and family in those areas. NJ passed a very strict prohibition on open burning in 1972 so the outdoor burning of household garbage and leaves went away thus driving up the costs immediately but not like they are today. And in those days we did not even think about a bear problem in places like Butler or Bloomingdale.
John Barbato August 10, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Ironic that they are considering taking services away as I received my tax bill yesterday and it was increased by over $1,000.
Turf in disguise August 10, 2012 at 01:16 PM
For years we've been hearing about the TC putting the agenda online. I remember Councilman Freda especially wanting to have them put online but I guess was quieted by the majority. I think in this day in age, it's absurd that the agenda is NOT posted online-they even have a place on the Kinnelon website for it! It is an inconvenience for people to physically go to the borough clerk to pick it up-maybe all the residents should inundate the clerks office for a copy. A better idea would be for a local media to pick it up and post it online. As far as garbage pick up, I agree with Mr. Barbato, as I've received my bill too. AND, what do most of the TC care? They are 2 person households and don't have as much garbage as families in the town. This must have something to do with using the savings for something like turf.
Turf in disguise August 10, 2012 at 01:20 PM
With the expansion of the DPW, why don't they buy garbage trucks, hire drivers, and haul it to the dump themselves.
Jeff Regan August 10, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I applaud the Council for looking at all the options. No decison has been made. Let's let the pricing proposals weighed against our other concerns determine the final outcome. Again, thanks to the Council for carefully considering how our taxes are spent.
Lulu August 10, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I agree with some of the posts above. We keep our garbage in our garage due to the bear and raccoon issues which plague Kinnelon. The smell is horrendous during the hot summer months. If there were garbage pick up 1x per week we would most likely attract other unwanted critters inside our house. Its an inconvenience to residents. Our taxes keep going up despite the fact that we don't have a post office, water department and up to par athletic fields in town. Now we may have a decrease in waste removal services. I am not a happy resident.
Annmarie August 10, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I just cannot believe that once a week would even be a consideration.
Trash Talk August 10, 2012 at 07:00 PM
That's what happens when you have a council that's out of touch with the community for a decade.
Mike August 10, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Turf fields are a necessity, and trash pickup once a week. Our council is a bunch of IDIOTS!
Mick Mouse August 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM
I need the addresses of the council members who are for this, so that I can unload my garbage when A: The garbage men forget to collect my trash. Again B: When bad weather does not permit. C: Decide to come way early than usual and I miss the collection. The trash needs to be taken out of the council.
Richard Dean August 10, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Mick Mouse,did you get this idea from an episode of "WKRP in Cincinatti" that aired on Antenna TV a couple of months ago? That 70's sitcom had an episode in which Cincy was in the middle of a garbage strike with Dr Johnny Fever telling the listeners to take their trash to the steps of city hall where they should dump it. Antenna TV is on Cablevision channel 114 and over the air on WPIX channel 11.4 (that is 11 sub channel 4).
Mick Mouse August 11, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Richard Dean, No I never watched that show.
Small town girl August 11, 2012 at 05:53 AM
"Earlier in the discussion, however, Whitehead told council members that with the two pickup days, the garbage haulers notice a much lighter load on the Friday pickup, as many residents are only utilizing the Tuesday pickup day.". That's because half the time they don't even pick up on Fridays or they come a couple hours earlier. On a better note the single-stream recycling program is the way to go. You can recycle almost everything. It might not get us any of our raised tax dollars back, but it will cause less confusion on what week is it, paper or plastic or is this recyclable or not? (A little less comic relief for me, when I drive pass all the driveways with paper out and it's plastic week.) and it would definitely cut our waste tonnage, it might only be by 10%, but that's 10% less in landfills and tonnage fees. Instead of trying to take from the residences of this town, maybe council should be putting time into getting Kinnelon it's own post office. We have to use a post office that's not even big enough for its own town. The lines are crazy, there is no room to move once inside and it's not the postal workers fault, their working with what they have, which isn't much. There are still residence that don't even have a Kinnelon address, I could see back in the day when the town was much smaller, but now it's just ridiculous.
Dark Ages August 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM
The data about the second pickup is inaccurate. The collection company sometimes comes before 630 am and if you do not put your garbage out the night before you miss it. They are hit and miss so the council is basing the tonnage data on misinformation, Also I live on a dead end and have put the garbage out after they drive by the first time and they refuse to stop and get it on the way out. So it goes in next weeks trash. As for the next contract we need to put a time in for the pick up. If I put my trash out the night before it winds up all over the street with the bears and the animals so they need to have the start time made later. The council is out of touch with the residents and based on the article and the comments it is clear. I also do not understand why the residents do not know at least a week ahead of time what is on the agenda for action meetings. The council does not publish the agenda on line and they like it that way. It used to be they had a work shop meeting and the voting meeting two weeks apart which gave us residents enough time to make a meeting to share our viewpoints on important issues and now its a week apart with no real notice to the community. It is like they are hiding the plan from the community. In this day and age of technology they should make the process more transparent and convenient for the community. But they will not, it is just more of the same old Sisco mentality. Take it or leave!
Lake shore home 4 sale August 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM
I wonder who the favored contractor is that offers single stream recycling. That will most likely narrow the field of eligible contractors costing the residents more for the service.
Joan August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Once a week garbage pick-up? Huge mistake...
Concerned Boro Resident August 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Single stream is the way to go for this boro, no more trying to figure out what goes out on which day it all goes out. There are other towns that have single stream and it works great. and for OBEYTHELAW,ITS EASY, are you kidding... you take pot shots at people you obviously don't know. Whitehead grew up in this town and has worked for this boro for over 25 years and you have the nerve to trash talk about him. And no if they wanted liquor stores open once a week he is smart enough to stock up. LMAO
Arnold B. August 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM
For those of you who have not left your Ivory Tower since 1965, there's an amazing product out there called "Febreze" Put the trash in a plastic bag, give it a shot of Febreze and tie it up. No self respecting raccoon (or bear) will go near it. C'mon people, quit your whining and take care of the problem yourself instead of wasting our time and money.
Zesty Green August 15, 2012 at 02:49 AM
I've never understood why we aren't allowed to take our trash to the dump. Now we're suppose to store it in our homes for 7 days? Council can you really be serious?
Jo August 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I appreciate that the Kinnelon Council is weighing the options, and request that commenters stop their attacks on the Council and each other. If you don't agree, just state your case in a civil manner, OK? I live in Fayson Lakes, and empathize with those who don't have a garage. Maybe the 2x pick up in the summer is a good idea. Also, I compost practically all food scraps (except meat & fish bones, which we usually freeze for making delicious soup stock), which otherwise would attract the bears and raccoons. As a result, I throw away very little garbage and have great "food" for the garden plants. As for agendas: I strongly recommend that the Council make sure the agenda goes online, and not depend upon news sources to do so. Communication with borough residents should be high on their list.
Lulu August 21, 2012 at 03:07 AM
So...what did the Council end up deciding on this trash issue?

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