Princeton City officials are considering hiring Republic for garbage services and taking trash pickup away from the duties of the street department.
During this week’s council meeting, Mayor Joel Quiram announced the city is considering hiring an outside company to take care of trash pickup which would allow the three street department workers who currently run trash and recycle routes to be reallocated to the city’s streets and cemeteries.
A post from the Mayor on his official social media page states that under the proposal, each residence would receive a 95-gallon garbage cart at no cost. There also would be smaller carts available if a 95-gallon cart is too large.
Residents would also be allowed to set out one bulk item every week, such as a sofa, or mattress, or box spring, etc. (no appliances or electronics). This would eliminate the need for spring clean-up. This alone would save the city about $10,000 a year, according to Quiram.
“Safety is a reason for considering the change,” Quiram states in his post. “We have two city employees standing on the back of our truck. They are exposed to all types of extreme weather conditions and to traffic. Through the years our employees have suffered through injuries, mostly caused from lifting.”
Quiram also cites the cost of running the department as a factor in the possible decision.
“We need a new truck now,” Quiram stated. “The cost is about $180,000, which is about $20,000 higher than the last one we bought. We find ourselves looking to replace a truck about every three to five years. Maintenance and repair costs are increasing as is labor.”
Quiram said the city has considered moving to a one-arm truck which requires only one person to operate, but said the cost, which would be about $27,000, would be prohibitive.
Quiram said the city would also keep two trucks to be used for brush pick-up.
Curbside recycling would be eliminated, however Quiram said free drop off would continue to be provided to residents at the transfer station.
“Currently, approximately 40% to 45% of residents use curbside recycling services,” Quiram said. “Of the total amount collected, approximately 80% is actually recycled with 20% trashed due to contamination, as compared to what is dropped off at the transfer station, which is mostly clean. Eliminating curbside recycling reduces the monthly cost of services to residents as Republic would not make two route trips as is currently being done by the city.”
If city garbage collection is eliminated, billing for garbage pickup would continue through the city, on monthly utility billing. The city’s current $11.50 monthly charge would be removed and, in its place, would be a line item for Republic Services.
Republic Services will make a presentation to the city council during the February 7 meeting, which is open to the public.