By JOHN T. WARD
Bids are in, and Red Bank officials will now turn their attention to the question of whether it makes financial sense for the borough to get out of the garbage pickup business, Councilman Mike DuPont said Wednesday night.
Officials said five cartage companies submitted bids late last month in a process authorized by the council last February. The governing body’s finance committee, which DuPont heads, will now evaluate the bids “to see if we can get savings” from a switch to private cartage, he said.
That evaluation, he said, will include “trying to determine if we have a surplus of employees” in the public utilities department, and if so, “can we use them in other areas,” such as buildings and grounds maintenance.
The town is expected to spend close to $1 million this year on trash, including roughly $520,000 in salaries and another $380,000 in landfill fees, according to the current budget.
Under state law, the council has 60 days to act on the bids, but can request extensions from bidders. DuPont refuted scuttlebutt that a switch is targeted for January 1.
Neighboring Fair Haven and Little Silver have private haulage for their residents. Fair Haven’s switch in 2011 has saved the borough an estimated $800,000 in truck costs alone, Councilman Jon Peters told redbankgreen last year. The town pays a hauler $183,000 a year, plus landfill fees.