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Bayonne council tackles garbage and recycling

The Bayonne City Council met virtually on Feb. 15 via TetherView.
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The Bayonne City Council met virtually on Feb. 15 via TetherView.

At the Feb. 17 meeting, the Bayonne City Council responded to residents’ concerns about garbage and recycling collection.

Resident Melissa Godesky-Rodriguez said that most residents she’s spoken to have been “super happy” with their garbage and recycling services and schedule. Collection has been occurring earlier and staying out of rush hour traffic.

But not all residents. For some, trash is not being picked up consistently on schedule. Neither has recycling.

“Residents were asked to put out trash, at least for Zone 2, the night before the storm to ensure it was picked up,” Godesky-Rodriguez said. “It wasn’t picked up. It seems in some cases every other house is getting trash and recycling picked up. It’s very inconsistent. Residents have made it easier by putting their cans in reach of the trucks.”

Godesky-Rodriguez said that residents from all zones have called the city. Sometimes the issue’s resolved, but sometimes not. She pointed to Zone 2, on Ave. F, Zone 3 between 48th and 52nd streets, Hobart Ave., 2nd St., and 3rd St.

Working on it

“We are all very well aware of it,” said City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski. “All of the council people have received calls from constituents talking about trash and recycling.”

She said that the new contractors are still learning the routes. Bayonne has emergency contracts with A + L Disposal LLC for garbage, and Joseph Smentkowski Inc. for recycling. The city will soon bid for fulltime contractors.

“These are only emergency contracts because we didn’t have a contract in place,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “When we go out to rebid, we will evaluate not only the price, but also the performance.”

Taking out the trash

Public Works Director Thomas Cotter first addressed collection at the January council meeting, noting that collecting from the entire city in one day was inefficient.

“So we broke it down into zones,” he said. “This way we can better keep track of it. Garbage collection has improved greatly over the last month. It’s been pretty consistent.”

Recycling collection is split between two zones: 1st St. to 30th St., and 30th St. to 63rd St. Cotter said the city may break that down into more zones, like the garbage collection zones.

“We’re going to put it out to bid both ways,” Cotter said. “If no one bids on it that way, then we’re stuck with the two zones until we get something different.”

Recycling issues

Cotter said the city met with the recycling contractor, and they’re going to reconfigure the routes. When the trucks head to the dump, the new drivers sometimes skip blocks.

“If we go to three zones, the trucks won’t fill up as much, so we won’t have to do as many runs to the dump,” Cotter said.

Cotter said that sometimes cardboard gets mixed in with garbage, and the contractors can’t distinguish between garbage and recyclables. Garbage collectors leave the cans for recycling and vice versa resulting in no collection at all.

Residents should break down their carboard so that recycling collectors pick it up.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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