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Hackensack Considers Private Waste Disposal Contract

Hackensack is considering privatizing its garbage services -- but it's waiting on proposals, to assess possible cost-savings first.
Hackensack is considering privatizing its garbage services -- but it's waiting on proposals, to assess possible cost-savings first. Photo Credit: Nancy Guenther Chapman

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Hackensack city officials are exploring the possibility of privatizing the city's solid waste removal, as way to cut costs and improve services.

The city hopes to save at least $850,000 a year with the move. Chief Financial Officer James Mangin is preparing a request for proposals, to try to specifically determine how much money could be saved.

City Manager David Troast said bringing in a private vendor would improve services for city residents because garbage would be collected twice each week throughout the entire year, instead of just in the summer. "This will be a significant improvement for homeowners, and it will also help keep the city cleaner," Troast said.

There are currently 30 city sanitation employees, but city officials noted a few ways job losses would be minimal. Nineteen of the employees would continue performing other jobs, like collecting recycling and yard waste, officials said, some would be reassigned, and some positions would be reduced through attrition. The city would follow all civil service and union contract rules that are applicable and more senior employees would be able to "bump" into other jobs.

Troast stressed that no decisions will be made until the RFP process reveals the amount of actual savings. "Our plan is to learn exactly what the savings would be before we make any recommendation to the mayor and council," he adds. "Our goals are to save a substantial amount of taxpayer money, improve and expand services for residents, and have a minimal impact on current city employees."

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