Early exit for Nutley’s trash contractor



Future Sanitation has no future in Nutley.

In the aftermath of its private trash collector being largely missing in action, Nutley has hired a new vendor to take over pickups.

The township will continue to collect recyclables.

Public Affairs Commissioner Steven Rogers told The Observer that Future Sanitation Co. of Passaic “was not able to keep up with the trash” that piled up during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

For a “four- to five-day” period, Rogers said, garbage “in some parts of town” simply didn’t get picked up and, when asked why this was happening, Rogers said the vendor reportedly blamed it on the fact that “a couple of his trucks had broken down.”

And, worse yet, Rogers said, it was learned that the contractor “didn’t have a current performance bond,” giving the township grounds to terminate Future’s contract at a special Board of Commissioners meeting June 8.

At the same time, the commissioners – acting on Rogers’ recommendation – voted to replace Future with F. Basso Jr. Rubbish Removal Inc. of Irvington through Oct. 19, 2019, the expiration date of Future’s contract.

Rogers said that Basso agreed to provide the service “at the same price” that Future was getting and to adhere to the same pickup schedule: four days a week for the collection of household trash and one day for vegetative wastes.

Since then, he said, things are pretty much back to normal.

In fall 2014, Nutley had contracted to pay Future $4,734,000 for collection, removal and disposal of all solid and bulk wastes and white goods in the township and $588,000 for the pickup and hauling away of all vegetative waste, leaves and grass clippings for five years. The vegetative pickups are from April 15 to Dec. 15 annually.

If a legal holiday falls on a regularly scheduled solid waste collection day, then the contractor is supposed to make pickups on the following day. If the holiday is on a Wednesday when leaves and grass clippings are collected, pickups occur the following Saturday.

Elaborating, Courtney Johnson, an aide to Rogers, said that complaints began pouring in to the Health Department, mostly from the west side, from Franklin Ave. up to East Passaic Ave., that garbage was not being picked up following the Monday, May 30, holiday.

“The phones here never stopped ringing,” Johnson said. “We were inundated with calls and some were downright angry.”

In response, Johnson said that Rogers and staffers rode through the areas specified to check first-hand on the situation and found that the complaints were valid.

Johnson said: “We were concerned it would become a public health hazard,” because it created an opportunity for animals to get into the trash bags left for curbside pickups, not to mention stinky odors, but, fortunately, it never rose to that level, according to Rogers.

“In the beginning,” Johnson said, “a lot of people were very patient,” to the extent that many residents took the trouble to re-bag their trash and took it back to the side of their homes to await pickups.

Residents finally began to see collections again on the night of June 7 when trucks from Basso arrived in Nutley to begin making collections, according to Johnson.

Although new to Nutley, Basso got to know the township streets quickly, Johnson said.

Rogers said the township is “negotiating” with Future on any possible payments that may still be owed the company.

Currently, Basso also counts Lyndhurst, East Newark, Glen Ridge, Cedar Grove, Little Falls, Mountainside, Summit and Maplewood as customers.

Learn more about the writer ...