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LOOKING FOR SAVINGS IN GARBAGE

fh-trash-canFair Haven and Rumson are looking into privatizing its garbage pickup. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven and Rumson are looking at ways to save money, starting with the trash.

And in one town, the savings would cost jobs.

Amid rumors in town that six public works employees were to be laid off, Rumson Borough Administrator Tom Rogers told redbankgreen that the borough intends to look into privatizing its garbage collection.

While it would save money in such a move — Rogers didn’t have a figure because it would have to go out to bid — standing to lose in the deal would be six DPW employees assigned the role of garbage collection.

“We have started to discuss it, and that’s why there’s reason for concern,” among the workers, he said.

No layoff or formal notices have gone out to employees, he said.

“We’re not at that point,” Roger said. “We have to do research.”

The move isn’t imminent, either. Rogers said with the new 2-percent property tax cap going into effect next year, plus increased pension and benefit costs, borough leadership is examining all departments to find savings.

Rumson is also looking to expand its shared services, he said.

“We’ve always looked at cost savings, and we expect this next year to be particularly hard,” Rogers said. “It’s not limited to that department by any means.”

In Fair Haven, Mayor Mike Halfacre said the borough would save between $100,00 and $200,000 a year by outsourcing its pickup.

With one retirement looming and another employee away on disability leave, Halfacre said the other two workers who collect trash would be assigned to other areas within the department so nobody will lose their job.

“There’s plenty of work to be done,” Halfacre said. “I don’t want to lay people off, and we don’t have to. The timing is right for us.”

If the council decides to privatize its garbage collection, Halfacre said bids will be opened at the end of November, a decision will likely be made by December and the new service could potentially start in February.

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