Hey NJ, your leaves and grass come with a price tag
It can be an annoying job this time of year — hauling all the leaves and brush to the curb. But it's not any more enjoyable for the folks who pick it up.
In most areas of New Jersey, the more yard waste they collect, the more money that's spent.
Equipment and manpower all add up to significant costs, according to Tom Crochet, director of public works for the Township of Ocean.
"By selling the leaves, we do recoup some of the money, but not nearly what it costs us to actually perform the service," Crochet said.
In 2014, the town hauled in 14,175 cubic yards of leaves and 6,457 cubic yards of brush.
In Middlesex County, officials are expecting to collect about 956,000 tons of material in 2015. That's much less than what was collected during 2012 when Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey.
And thanks to a dry summer, the county anticipates less grass to be left for pickup.
"The yard waste business is extremely unpredictable," said Ed Windas, recycling manager for the Middlesex County Improvement Authority. "It is a cost savings to the Improvement Authority and, in turn, it's also a savings to the municipality when less materials are generated."
The county is currently paying a rate of $33 per ton collected.
But your waste is more than welcome in Tinton Falls. The public works department said the benefits outweigh the negatives when it comes to yard waste pick-up, thanks to money earned from the compost they sell and a grant from the state.