Verona has been put on notice that its garbage haulers could face substantial fines for picking up corrugated cardboard along with regular trash.
At last night’s town council meeting, Gerald Shimonaski, a resident who serves on Essex County’s Solid Waste Advisory Council, told council members that the county is considering hitting garbage trucks that contain more than 25% recyclables with a fine that could be upwards of $4,500 per truck. Since September, the Essex County Health Department has been monitoring dumping by all municipal haulers and is finding large amounts of recyclables mixed in with the trash. Shimonaski circulated photographs taken by a Health Department inspector of a load dumped by one Verona carter that showed large amounts of corrugated cardboard. Currently, Verona does not pick up cardboard curbside for recycling, from residences or businesses; however, it does recycle cardboard that is brought by residents to the Commerce Court recycling center.
Township Manager Joe Martin insisted that the fine would be assessed on the carting company, and not passed along to the town. “The town is not in immediate danger of being fined,” he said. He told the Council that picking up cardboard from the curb is “not cost-effective” and that residents are welcome to bring their cardboard, including cereal boxes, to the recycling center just off Ozone Avenue. The center is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. year-round.