Council continues discussion on trash services

Despite improvements, township is still eager for progress

MATTHEW SHINKLE/The Sun
Medford is experiencing day- and week-long delays in solid waste collection by Republic Services, the company contracted for the job.

Council’s meeting on Sept. 6 again provided the public with additional information on solid waste-removal services in the township by Republic Services, the current contractor.

During council’s August session, municipal Clerk Katherine Burger updated the township on specifics of the situation and explained that the continued delay in trash pickup in certain areas of Medford had increased from a day or two to up to a week behind schedule. 

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During this month’s meeting, Burger said Republic has shown improvement, but it needs to continue doing so. 

“They’re almost there,” she said. “They pretty much end each day with a little left to do and just recover that the next day, before starting that day’s route. It’s come a long way.

“We’re still not where we want it to be, but we’re getting there.”

Republic is currently responsible for all 42 square miles of the township, with its contract set to expire in January 2024. But it has been charged significant fines for delays,   according to Burger. 

While a payment of approximately $70,000 per month might be the average the  municipality could expect to pay for solid-waste removal, Medford only paid about $16,000 in July, a number expected to have been even less during August. 

Burger made council aware that the township has reached out to other solid-waste collection companies in order to gauge the market, but has yet to hear back from them. 

“We did contact two other bidders,” she said. “One has been acquired twice now by other companies; no return phone from them. And we did not receive a return phone call from Gold Medal [Environmental] … 

“We would just like to see their availability to take us on, but we can’t even get a phone call back.”

As previously reported by The Sun, the township has started its research on pricing for solid-waste collection that would be kept within Medford. Burger noted that trash trucks would cost approximately $375,000 and that there are only 12 available for purchase nationwide. Officials believe the township needs three trucks to satisfy its needs. 

The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20.

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