The Town Council voted unanimously Feb. 22 to award Blue Diamond Disposal a five-year contract to become the town's waste hauler, starting April 1.
Up until now, Morristown independently provided both waste removal and recycling pickup services for the town.
In a presentation during the meeting, Morristown would be expected to pay $1,484,216 in 2011 for solid waste pickup services, including salary and wages, benefits and additional costs such as diesel fuel, insurance and permit fees. Costs would continue to increase year for items such as an average of 2 percent for salary increases.
Under Blue Diamond Disposal, based in Mount Arlington, the town will pay $355,500 in 2011 for nine months of service, then $474,000 for the next four years. The projected savings to the town over the next five years is $732,262.
According to the presentation, Morristown was, up until approval of the contract, one of only five towns in Morris County that still completely handled both waste pickup and recycling. Seven muncipalities in Morris County have both their waste and recycling services handled through Blue Diamond Disposal, six handle waste disposal only and, according to the presentation, Blue Diamond Disposal comes "highly recommended by all."
Under the new service contract, all solid waste and recycling schedules will remain the same, meaning most people will not notice any change, except for the different vehicles picking up their trash. If residents have any problems or questions, they are encouraged to continue contacting the town directly.
While everyone voted in favor of the contract, councilwoman Raline Smith-Reid felt like residents had not been given enough notice and opportunity to speak on the issue.
"I'm comfortable with it, I just wish the residents could have had more time and had their say," she said.