Sharing services pays off for Sea Bright Borough expects to save more than $200,000 under 3-year agreement

Staff Writer

By lindsey siegle

Sharing services pays off for Sea Bright
Borough expects to save more than $200,000 under 3-year agreement

The new year will bring a new deal between Sea Bright and the Highlands for refuse and recycling collection.

The two communities had a pilot program of sorts over the last 14 months, according to Sea Bright Councilwoman Maria Fernandes, and it proved to be immensely successful.

"The reason we did a 14-month contract for the first time was that we just wanted to try this," Fernandes said. "We both wanted to see if it would work for us, and we wanted it to end at the end of this year."

The pilot program proved so beneficial to both towns it was not hard to reach agreement on a longer term contract, Fernandes said.

On Jan. 1, a three-year contract, which will pay the Highlands $276,043 to handle garbage and recycling pickup in Sea Bright, will go into effect.

According to Fernandes the contract should save the borough $207,000 over the cost of using a private contractor for the same services.

She based those savings on the borough’s last private contract for those services. Before the agreement with the Highlands, Marpal Co., Tinton Falls, handled garbage pickup, and recycling was handled by Monmouth Processing, Ocean Township.

In addition to the cost savings, Sea Bright receives better service from the Highlands, according to Fernandes.

The new contract includes several additions which will further improve garbage and recycling pickup in the borough.

Commercial and professional customers who use curbside pickup will receive up to 10 receptacles under the new deal. The previous agreement called for four receptacles.

There will be bulk pickups on the first Thursday of each month in June, July and August. Previously there were no bulk pickups in those months. For the remainder of the year bulk pickups will continue to be made every Thursday.

White appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.) will be picked up by appointment after a $25 fee is paid to Sea Bright Recycling Coordinator Karen DiBerardino.

There will be weekly pickups of recyclables from the borough’s recycling center in June, July and August. Previously those pickups were made every other week.

"They give us wonderful service," Fernandes said. "We can’t ask for more than that. Reggie Roberts, the DPW [department of public works] supervisor there runs a tight ship."

As with the prior agreement, the contract does not include pickup of commercial trash bins. Fernandes noted that businesses will continue to contract that on their own, as they did during the borough’s previous contract with Marpal.

"When we got together with the Highlands, they just bought a new truck, and they were able to use us to defray the cost of that," Fernandes said.

In addition to the cost savings for Sea Bright and the income provided to the Highlands, both communities should receive grant money from the state for participating in an interlocal service agreement. Both did receive the grant for the agreement in place for this year.

The contract with the Highlands is the first major such interlocal service agreement the borough has reached, according to Fernandes. She noted that the borough does have an agreement with Eatontown through which the communities share the cost of a fire marshal.