Committee signs new contract for recyclable material

Plan is for 13 months of work from Omni Recycling

During its recent meeting on March 8, the Voorhees Township Committee signed a resolution agreeing to a new contract for recyclable material with Omni Recycling.

The plan is for a period of 13 months, with expiration on April 30 of next year. The township previously had a contract with Omni for the disposal of its recyclable material, but the township terminated that contract late last month in an effort to renegotiate a revised agreement with Omni or sign a new one with a different vendor that would better address two key components.

According to Township Administrator Larry Spellman, the township was previously paying $80 per ton to dispose of recyclable material, but after terminating the existing contract, the township and Omni Recycling cut the cost in half, to $40 per ton, while also waiving a bag-  fee penalty.

Spellman also said the township’s contract was written to expire at the same time as the Camden County co-op deal, at which point  township officials will be able to potentially join a contract with the county if they so desire

“The contract expires at the same time the county contract expires,  which gives us the ability, in 13 months, to either join with the county on a group contract if they get a great price, or we can do it on our own if we get a better price,” Spellman explained.

As previously reported by The Sun, Voorhees Township made approximately $4,000, $11,000 and $41,000 in profit between 2015 and 2017 for its recyclable material, before the market flipped and municipalities then started paying to dispose of material rather than making money.

After the market flip during the spring of 2018, the township paid approximately $27,000 to dispose of recyclables that year, before paying $247,955 and $272,926 in 2019 and 2020, respectively, according to Chief Financial Officer Dean Ciminera.

Also during the committee meeting, members held a public hearing and passed upon second reading an ordinance that will allow the township it to exceed its municipal budget appropriation limits and establish a cap bank in the development of its 2021 budget.

Municipalities across the state are typically allowed to increase the current year’s budget appropriations by 2.5 percent from the previous year, but this year, the state authorized municipalities to only increase by 1 percent without the passing of the ordinance.

According to the proposed measure, a 3.5 percent increase in the appropriations limit would amount to $1,117,364.50. The proposed 2021 budget is not included in the ordinance, as the township continues to develop its proposed plan. That means a potential tax increase or decrease is unknown at this time.

Last year, the township passed a 5.9-cent increase in taxes from the previous year, for a total of 89.1 cents, meaning Voorhees residents with the average assessed home value of $259,460 saw an increase of approximately $157.