- The borough of Kinnelon, NJ — population slightly more than 10,000 — is considering a new collection plan due to a lack of competitive bidding. Hilly terrain and narrow streets have been mentioned as potential factors for why few companies seem interested in hauling the borough's waste.
- So far only one company has picked up a bidding package ahead of the Aug. 24 submission deadline. That company is Suburban Waste Disposal Inc., the borough's current hauler.
- Potential options include having the borough's Department of Public Works pick up waste or teaming up with other nearby towns for some type of shared service agreement. The option of reducing collections from two days to one has also come up, but is opposed by residents.
Mayor Robert Collins said that Kinnelon explored other options about 15 years ago, though the necessary finances were too prohibitive. If the borough did collect waste the capital cost of new trucks would be high, along with the labor costs of additional personnel. Arrangements with other municipalities could also result in additional expenses.
Kinnelon's 2016 collection contract was $150,000 more than 2015 — a 45% increase. The borough signed a one-year contract with Suburban Disposal to open up the possibility of competitive bidding this year, though so far that hasn't seemed to matter.
"We have to look at all our options, because the status quo is not working," said Collins via NorthJersey.com. "The type of increase we saw this year has a serious impact on the budget."
The borough plans to do a cost-benefit analysis once this current contract is resolved, though at the moment it seems to have few options that will result in a cheaper collection system. As regulations and recycling requirements make collection more expensive for haulers that in turn gets passed on to customers and this will likely be a challenge for more small municipalities in the future.