By: Mickey Brandt
VINELAND, N.J. — While Vineland and Millville are legendary high school football rivals, in municipal waste management they are now acting in concert. Millville’s City Commission, at a regular meeting on October 1, voted to approve a five-year, $5.34 million shared services agreement with Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) for trash, recycling, and bulky waste collection services to begin next year.
Vineland previously hired ACUA under a similar agreement effective Jan. 1 this year. During the meeting, Mayor Michael Santiago acknowledged occasional problems with the current waste management contractor, but said, “We’re going over to a company now that is very professional; they’re going to do a great job. It’s a win-win for us and we’ll save money in the long run.”
“The ACUA is very pleased to partner with the City of Millville,” ACUA President Rick Dovey said. “ACUA provides trash or recycling collection in more than 20 municipalities across South Jersey and we look forward to performing collections in Millville beginning April 1, 2020, through this shared services agreement.”
ACUA will purchase five additional collection vehicles to perform services in Millville. Customers should not experience changes to their collection schedules. The city’s residents will convert to the same 96-gallon wheeled karts now used in Vineland—two per household for trash and recyclables.
Millville’s action was not unanimous. Santiago, Vice Mayor James Parent, and Commissioners Ashley Udalovas and Joseph Pepitone voted for the resolution approving the agreement while Commissioner Brice Cooper dissented. During more than an hour of public input, speakers spiritedly debated the benefits and drawbacks of the change.