Trash plan may be decided by voters

HOWELL – A proposal to make garbage collection a municipal service will be decided by voters in November.

An ordinance introduced July 21 allows a referendum to be placed on the November ballot. Under the proposal, the Township Council would award the successful bidder with a contract to provide municipal trash pickup for the entire community.

At present, every Howell homeowner contracts with one of several trash haulers to collect their garbage.

The cost of the municipal garbage service would be reflected in residents’ property tax bills. Any tax increase needed to pay for the universal service would be less per year than the current cost of contracting for the service individually, municipal officials said.

Deputy Mayor Peter Tobasco stressed that the township is not going into the garbage collection business, but rather it is trying to provide the necessary service at a reduced cost.

The proposed ordinance authorizes the Monmouth County clerk to place a question on the ballot that asks voters, “Shall the township of Howell provide residential garbage collection service by publicly bidding the service and charging the costs as a part of the real estate property bill? The estimated cost of said service would be $3 million to $4 million. Each real property owner would be charged based on the assessed value of their real property.”

A public hearing and adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 4.