Residents of Cedar Grove are now prohibited from disposing of their grass clippings with their regular household trash in the township, according to revised collection rules that recently took effect.
The change, stemming from a decision by the operator of the county incinerator, was outlined in a May 22 advisory posted on the township web site.
Under the new rules, grass and leaves need to be bagged separately and will be picked up in biodegradable bags only, the advisory read. Collection will be on residents’ regular recycling days, which vary across town but are either on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
“Branches will be picked up on solid waste collection days and cannot be mixed with grass clippings or leaves,” the advisory says.
The town will be giving away 10 free bags per household at its public works facility located at 340 Little Falls Road from Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mayor John Zunic said Wednesday.
According to officials, the change has to do with a decision by Conventa, the operator of the incinerator, to no longer accept grass clippings, leaves or branches with regular household trash.
“I believe they’ve made some changes to how they’re accepting this type of stuff,” Deputy Mayor Joseph Chiusolo said Wednesday in a phone interview. “It has to be separated from the normal collection.”
Local officials say they learned of that decision only recently.
About two weeks ago, “our garbage truck was turned away” from the county incinerator, Zunic said. “The garbage man literally that day had to separate everything from the massive load that they had there at the site,” he said.
On an interim basis, the local public works department has been collecting the grass, Chiusolo said. “But they’re very spent based on the size of our staff and the other responsibilities they have,” Chiusolo continued.
The mayor said the town plans to amend the garbage contract with its trash hauler, Joseph Sementowski Inc., for the company to collect grass. Although exact numbers are not yet available, the cost to the town is projected to be about $9,600 per month from April to October, Chiusolo said. Officials expect there won’t be an extra financial burden on taxpayers.
“Now that we don’t have grass mixed into the garbage, we’ll be paying less of tipping fee at the incinerator,” Zunic said. “So whatever savings we have there, you turn it around to pay for the extra truck to pick the grass clippings up.”