- Tonight, the City Council in Newark, DE will debate outsourcing trash service to Republic Services to save an estimated $4.9 million over seven years. Finance Director Louis Vitola said the savings come from selling and not buying more equipment, as well as staffing cuts.
- Four employees would be forced to retire with a pension, and three would be offered jobs in other departments.
- A grass-roots movement has sprung up to support city garbage haulers and raise taxes to retain them, Delaware Online reported. The needed 12% increase would amount to $58 more for homeowners and $297 for businesses annually.
Newark officials want to use the savings from outsourcing to improve stormwater infrastructure. But residents are loyal to city employees. "We have such committed and high-performance employees," longtime resident Silvia Zsoldos told Delaware Online. "When people just come to do their job, the sloppiness follows. They won’t do it as thoroughly and carefully as these guys do."
Many municipalities including Harford County, MD and Santa Fe, NM have also outsourced trash and recycling services in order to save money. Changes in circumstances often lead to searches for new ways to do business.
Newark is actually in a good position, thanks to residents who are willing to support city-operated collection. The city could potentially continue with its plan and not have to lay off workers because it has citizens willing to pay higher taxes to retain city employees.