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Hackensack Considering Private Waste Disposal

Officials in Hackensack are considering the option of privatizing solid waste removal.
Officials in Hackensack are considering the option of privatizing solid waste removal. Photo Credit: change.org

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- In an effort to reduce costs and improve services for taxpayers, Hackensack city officials are exploring the possibility of entering into a private contract for solid waste removal, a service that is currently performed by city employees.

Officials are hoping to save at least $850,000 annually, while minimizing the impact on current workers.

Chief Financial Officer James Mangin has issued a request for proposals to determine how much money would be saved through privatization.

After reviewing private disposal costs in several Bergen County towns, Mangin believes going through the RFP process is the only reliable way of making such a determination.

City Manager David Troast says bringing in a private vendor would dramatically improve services for city residents, since 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 believe that actual job losses would be minimal.

Nineteen of the employees would continue performing jobs such as collecting recyclables and yard waste. Some workers would be reassigned to other duties and some positions would be reduced through attrition.

A number of senior employees would transition into other jobs.

Troast said 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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