Swedesboro Signs 3-Year Deal with Omni Recyclables

SWEDESBORO –The Swedesboro Council continued to search for answers for local recycling questions during their meeting on Dec. 16.

Council tried using stickers on their brown trash cans to differentiate between recyclables and trash, but it has been to no avail so far. Swedesboro Mayor Tom Fromm reported that eight out of eight loads were rejected from local residents in November, while October saw eight out of ten being turned back.

The fine for rejected loads was dropped from $75 to $50 due to the large amounts of rejects. “This is hitting us in the wallet,” commented Council President Sam Casella. “It’s a pocketbook issue, and our taxes will go up.” A town is charged about $90 a ton for regular trash. The fine for each rejected load of recycling is added on to the regular trash fee.

“We’ve got to get the people educated,” Fromm observed. “We’re going to have to pay a lot of money here. When in doubt, throw it in the trash.”

Fromm called the agreement with Omni pretty straight forward. “It was a 3-year contract with two one-year options,” Fromm said. “Swedesboro would need to give 30 days notice to Omni if they choose to opt out.”

Council member Diane Hale toured the Omni Recycling Center in September, observing a car seat, microwave, refrigerator, stereo, and a load of plastic bags being delivered. Casella, in his Environmental Commission report, mentioned that the group was continuing to work on an ordinance for Swedesboro’s part of New Jersey’s plastic bag ban.

In Finance, Fromm announced that Swedesboro would not be receiving a municipal aid grant from the NJDOT for the repair of Chestnut Street. Terms for completing the Maybrook Avenue repairs would be determined in 2020. Fromm said Swedesboro wasn’t overspent on its budget, but things were getting tighter.

Fromm reported that he had interviewed three good candidates for Public Works Manager. Elsewhere, Fromm added that the work on the Auction House was completed except the bathroom floor. “The building is almost ready for human habitation,” he noted.

Also, the mayor mentioned that leaves must still be removed from the ice rink so it can determine where any water leaks are. It hadn’t been cold enough to open the ice rink yet at this writing.

For police news, the Woolwich Township Police Department hired their 29th full-time police officer, Brandon Lopez, at a Woolwich Committee meeting that same night. Also, a resolution gave a coming agreement with the Swedesboro/Woolwich Police a 30-day extension because of some late language changes.

In other resolutions, transfers in the 2019 Swedesboro budget appropriations were approved. December was declared Shop Local Month in the community, and transferring of overpayment of taxes was permitted. Fromm noted that overpayments were applied to 2020 taxes.

Fire report news showed that the number of calls responded to by the Woolwich Fire Company exceeded the number from 2018. In Shade Tree, Councilmember Dave Flaherty reported that dead trees had been removed, and there was funding in the town’s budget to plant more in the spring.

For Economic Development, Councilmember Diane Hale said the department had sent out all of its coupon books, and they may try to generate more for the summer. Hale also announced that she had become a representative of the “Visit New Jersey” board. “They meet four times a year,” Hale pointed out. “We can compare information.”

by Robert Holt

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