Vineland parades new fleet of trash collection vehicles
VINELAND – The vehicle fleet that takes over trash collection here in less than a week is staged and ready to roll as of Thursday.
A convoy of 11, natural gas-fueled trash trucks left the Atlantic County Utilities Authority facility in Egg Harbor Township at 10:25 a.m. Thursday, staging a parade through Vineland on the way to the Cumberland County Improvement Authority facility in Deerfield Township.
On Jan. 1, the ACUA takes over trash collection in Vineland under an agreement reached a few months ago. The ACUA purchased the trucks and a few other vehicles to support the arrangement with the CCIA storing and maintaining them.
ACUA President Richard S. Dovey, Vineland City Council President Paul Spinelli, and CCIA Executive Director Gerard Velazquez were at the Jesse Bridge Road site for the arrival.
Dovey said the parties wanted to show residents they are getting a vehicle fleet straight from the factory, vehicles powered by "green" fuel, and to show off Cumberland's facility. The CCIA is completing work on a compressed natural gas refueling station to service the ACUA vehicles.
"Our employees will be reporting to work here," Dovey said. "The trucks will be based here and maintained here and fueled here, so it will add to the Cumberland County-Vineland economy."
Vineland is the first community the ACUA has signed a deal with in Cumberland County, but the authority hopes to add others. The authority already collects trash in 14 communities, and collects recyclables in 22 communities.
"The key was Cumberland was installing this compressed natural gas refueling station here," Dovey said. "It’s not going to be ready by next week. But there are a couple locations — one in Millville, one in Vineland — we can use on an interim basis. We expect this to be done in February."
Dovey and Spinelli said the CCIA had considered providing trash collection to Vineland.
"And they knew gearing up to do it, Vineland was going to be a big lift," Dovey said. "So, they reached out to us earlier this year and said, ‘Would you consider doing it?’ Then, we came up with this concept. Basically, we’d operate it remotely from this location."
The spur to Vineland looking to the CCIA and then ACUA was its longstanding dissatisfaction with its current trash collector, South Jersey Sanitation.
"We were putting fines on South Jersey for missing people and things of that nature," Spinelli said. "I think it got better as it went on, but the problem of trash blowing all over the place seemed to be a problem and it wasn’t getting any better. Trash cans were getting destroyed and things of that nature.
"So, we looked in a different direction to see if we could come up something that was a better fit," the council president said. "ACUA came up with a presentation. They already had spoken to the CCIA. So, the three entities got together and came up with something."
Vineland, as part of the changeover, also has given residents 96-gallon karts for trash and for recyclable storage. The city hopes the new system can provide the data supporting reducing the frequency of collection from its current twice-a-week schedule, although officials say that cautiously.
The karts are micro-chipped to identify their user's address. That allows, for the first time, for detailed data to be collected on how trash and recyclables are put curb-side by any resident.
The Vineland-ACUA agreement is for five years and is valued at $13.31 million.
“Everybody we spoke to researching this, that has used them, has been happy with it," Spinelli said. "We think, in the long run, with the large containers, we could probably save money both governmentally as well as for the citizenry."
Joseph P. Smith; jpsmith_dj; (856) 563-5252; email@example.com
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