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Three South Jersey Towns Arrange A Single Trash-Hauling Contract

CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) -- A Marlton, NJ trash hauling firm has been awarded a five-year contract to handle refuse for three Camden County towns in what's becoming an ever-increasing trend: municipalities teaming up to get the best bang for their tax buck.

Forty-five thousand homes in Cherry Hill, Merchantville, and Gloucester Township, NJ will get their trash pickup through Republic Services. The company gets $28.6 million, and the towns will save almost $3 million over the term of the contract, according to David Mayer, mayor of Gloucester Township.

"We can work together and reach across borders. In fact, I think we've made borders irrelevant," Mayer told KYW Newsradio. "We're working together as governmental entities for the common good."

Cherry Hill mayor Bernie Platt said that negotiating as a single entity definitely saved the three towns money.

"You'd better bring down our costs if you want our business," Platt said.  "We did exactly that, to the tune of about a ten-percent savings over the five years of our next trash contract."

Of course a little pressure from the state -- in the form of a two-percent budget and spending increase cap -- helped push this along.  And it doesn't come without some pain. Eight staffers in Merchantville's public works department will be laid off or reassigned to make way for the change.

Joe Brickley is a borough councilman in Merchantville.

"For a town the size of Merchantville Borough, utilizing the strength of our bigger brothers, I think it's a win," he said.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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