Princeton Council Approves New Trash Contract That Includes Major Fee Hike

CJWTruckThe town of Princeton will being paying more for less trash over the next two years.

The Princeton Council Monday night approved a new contract with Central Jersey Waste that includes a major fee hike.

Princeton will pay Central Jersey Waste $73.45 per ton to haul trash this year, and $74.49 per ton next year, and increase of $22.04 per ton.

The town will pay an estimated $798,896 total to Central Jersey for trash hauling for the next two years, which is an increase of more than $200,000 over what the town paid the previous two years. The fee is based on an estimate of the town producing 420 tons of trash per month.

During the consolidation process, officials estimated how many tons of trash the consolidated Princeton would generate. Elected officials often bragged about how the town was producing less waste and saving money. Some officials credited the food recycling program for significantly lowering the trash tonnage sent to the landfill, though there was never a definitive reason given for why the tonnage was down.

Officials now say the calculations for the consolidated Princeton were off. They overestimated the amount of trash the consolidated Princeton would generate, and developed a per ton fee in partnership with waste haulers based on that estimate. Trash haulers who bid on the new contract jacked up the price per ton to make up for the lower volume.

Only two companies bid on the new contract, and Central Jersey Waste was the lowest bidder.


  1. “The town of Princeton will being (sic) paying more for less trash over the next two years.”
    Is this correct? Or is the town paying more for the same amount of trash? It seems like the thing which has changed is the estimate, not the volume of trash. Private households in the Township previously had to contract individually for trash collection, so municipal officials would pretty much have been guessing at how much trash the consolidated municipality would generate. The green bin program makes it even more difficult to prepare an accurate estimate. It’s not that much of a surprise that the estimate was off. The contract was awarded in an open bidding process, so it’s not clear what municipal officials could have done to reduce costs.

  2. I would be interested to know how the recycling pick up plays in here (is that a separate line item?), and also would like to know if there has been any movement to increase the recycling pick up to weekly rather than every other week. On my street on recycling day the majority of homes have multiple recycling bins overflowing. I have very limited property space and I confess that on alternate weeks I have unfortunately put recycling into the trash stream rather than wait the additional time for the recycling pick up. I believe our town could do even better with recycling (and possibly reduce some trash volume) if we had the pick up weekly, it just makes the habit stick better. Also, while I put everything I can into the green bin, its not always full weekly, and I have (off the record) invited neighbors (some of them low income and/or students) to use any extra space in my green bin for compostables), even though the cost of the compost program is low and I’m happy to pay my participation fee, it may in the long run be economical to figure out a way to temporarily subsidize greater participation in the green bin program to reach out to those who won’t participate if it is optional and has a cost.

  3. I am wondering now that we are paying more for trash and recycling if the haulers will be placing all of the cans back where they found them onto the curbs or sidewalks and not in the street where traffic is blocked and parking spaces made inaccessible.

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