Montclair Recycling Collection Temporarily Halted

From the Township of Montclair:

The Department of Community Services is seeing a significant decrease in its workforce due to COVID-19, even with substantial protective and social distancing measures in place since March 2020 – this includes employees testing positive and those who were exposed to the virus. Required quarantining for both groups will impact staffing levels for several weeks.

Due to this unprecedented impact on staffing, the following collection schedules will be implemented effective Friday, February 26:

Curbside recycling collection will be temporarily suspended until further notice.
Recycling drop-off at the Community Services yard (219 North Fullerton Avenue) will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to allow residents an opportunity to dispose of their accumulating recyclables.
The existing refuse collection schedule will continue without interruption.
All other non-essential DCS operations and activities will be temporarily suspended until further notice to allow all available personnel to assist with refuse collection operations.
Recycling and refuse left curbside on Wednesday, February 24 and on Thursday, February 25 will be collected however, given staffing levels, crews may not be able to complete pick-ups on those days. If your refuse or recycling is not picked up on either day, please leave it at the curb and it will be collected on or before Saturday, February 27.

Thank you for your patience and understanding on this matter.

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  1. I don’t know about around Edgemont school, but the guys I know work outside. Lots of ventilation. I guess community spread at the level it is, you can only control so much.

    My best wishes to all of them & their families. Be well.

  2. Like Frank, I extend my best wishes to our Community Services workers who are ill. Like our police officers and firefighters, these public servants have been outside every day during the pandemic, often in terrible weather, doing a dirty, heavy, and too-often thankless job for us. They have had to work extra hard lately because of the snow. They deserve our gratitude.

    (Yes, I still support having a private company run our Township sanitation and recycling, but that’s because I think companies that serve multiple towns can more efficiently run collections—they would have more employees to tap in situations like this—as well as truck purchasing and maintenance. I would not support, however, and never have supported, any reduction in wages for the workers themselves. It’s a moot point now, however, because the current Council won’t consider engaging a private company.)

    One question for the town, though: Why continue to support two trash collections per week and zero recycling pickups? Couldn’t we switch one of the trash days for a recycling day while we’re short-staffed? It’s not only better for the environment to keep recycling, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper then dumping recyclables as trash.

  3. Actually, it is arguably not cheaper. There is no market for styrofoam or cardboard. Plastic is marginal top line, but is a loser below the line.

    Monday night, the Planning Board & Department of Community Planning said they don’t have to address climate change until well into the 2030’s. As you know, these guys write our Master Plan which is a compilation of our community expectations. As you know, both our Council & the Environmental Commission (MEC) have members not the PB. And, of course, the Councilors keep their fingers on the pulse of community expectations and any shifts.

    You also know the Council, and sometimes just the Mayor appoints everyone on the PB & MEC. In the case of the MEC, the Council also appoints the MEC leadership and has the MEC report out to them annually.

    It is pretty safe to say community expectations are highly coordinated and represented. It doesn’t indicate climate change is all that pressing.

    Now, the bad news…the electricity aggregation program’s performance. The indicators are it is headed in the wrong direction. The Consumer Opt-OUT rate of those we converted is 10%. Of those left, the coast savings is quite small. As you know, it uses an opt-out model. Councilors Hurlock & Schlager voted against this model. The opportunity price differential is growing significantly. Any marketing can explain the costs of returning an Opt-OUT consumer to the fold. And the best part, the MEC is advocating an Opt-IN approach – among existing customers -to in an attempt to reach target goals.

    As we enter the budget season, we can be assured that climate change will remain with of Environmental Affair Officer who reports to the manager of Health & Human Services (and the animal shelter). Yes, we will continue to have that extra collection day. Yes, we will continue to have ordinances that require a variance to change landscaping to more eco-friendly landscaping.

    So, bottom line, climate change isn’t really a priority in Montclair. And if it was, who do you go to M-F during business hours? Who is on point? Who do we hold accountable week in week out? Let’s have a Climate Strike? Oh, right. Schools are closed.

  4. Frank: You’re right, of course, that the market for recyclables isn’t what it used to be. We used to get paid for our recyclable material; now we’re paying someone to take it off our hands. Even so, however, the cost of disposing of recyclables is lower than paying someone to put it in a landfill. That’s all I was referencing.

  5. Just toss the recyclables into the trash for regular pick up. That’s where they go anyhow. Recycling is Montclair’s big lie.

  6. Justbob, that’s correct. The only thing that actually gets recycled is card board. The market for plastic bottles dried up when it was no longer ok to dump them in the ocean.

  7. Frank, I wasn’t commenting on what Montclair does just from what I know what goes on downstream.

  8. “Just toss the recyclables into the trash for regular pick up. That’s where they go anyhow. Recycling is Montclair’s big lie.”

    And I suppose Buzz Aldrin never walked on the moon.

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