WILDWOOD - The city plans to hire a private company to collect the town's trash and recyclables.

Mayor Gary DeMarzo said Wednesday that the city soon will advertise for bids for the service, which he believes could save the city as much as $1 million per year.

Currently, a team of about 10 to 15 full-time employees works in sanitation in the Public Works department.

DeMarzo said the switch to hiring an outside company was "a long overdue reform," and he expects to start outsourcing other city services such as information technology and snow removal.

The fate of the city's sanitation employees is still being determined.

"We're going to try to integrate them into the rest of the department and try to get some of them employed by the contractor," said Commissioner Edward Harshaw, who oversees public works.

Harshaw said he had not yet discussed the plan with the staff, but he said the city's employees are aware of the direction the current administration is taking.

"When we were elected, we got a mandate to reduce taxes, and this will go towards that," Harshaw said.

DeMarzo said the city would also have to evaluate employees status with regard to civil service regulations and their seniority.

The city also has seven trash trucks and most will be sold or taken out of service once a contractor is hired.

Harshaw said only two of those trucks can pass current state emissions standards, and they will be used for special events or otherwise as needed.

Harshaw said savings this year could total $500,000 with additional savings of $1 million in the first full year of operation.

Currently, trash is collected once a week in the off-season and twice a week in the summer. DeMarzo said that level of service would not change, and he expects to have a private company doing the work by the start of this coming summer season.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:

609-463-6716

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