The Woodbridge township council has launched a new solid waste collection in the township, despite some concerns from residents. The new Automated Trash & Recycling Collection program became effective from January 5, 2009 in the Colonia, Sewaren, Woodbridge proper and most parts of the Port Reading sections of the township. The new program is launched for once-a-week trash collection and a new single-stream recycling day.

The households that are under the program received a new 95-gallon green and blue trash container in December as well as an operator’s manual that fully describes the new program.

The households that did not receive the new trash containers remain on the current trash collection program until further notice.

Currently, the township Sanitation Department provides for the twice-weekly curbside collection of household trash and once-weekly curbside collection of recycled materials.

The township is anticipated to implement the new program throughout the township in the next few years.

This is a trial basis, said council President and Ward 1 Councilman Richard Dalina at the council meeting on Dec. 16. If changes need to be made, we will make them.

The new program is part of the township’s continuing effort to improve resident services while holding the line on expenses.

The township officials said that when the program is fully implemented, it will be much more cost-effective and will provide each and every household with a cleaner and more attractive system for disposing of household waste.

The regular trucks are manned by three employees, where the automated trucks are manned with only one, said Business Administrator Robert Landolfi. The savings on automated trucks is very significant.

Landolfi said that the township would be saving around 80 to 90% of workers’ compensation costs per annum.

Margaret Wyatt-Willowghby told the council that she was concerned about how secure the new container lids are.

We have groundhogs, possums, raccoons around, Margaret said. I don’t want all the trash strewn all over.

The township officials said the new container lids should be secure.

Margaret’s mother, Barbara, and her aunt, who are senior citizens, came to the meeting expressing their concern about the burden of the 95-gallon container.

These large cans are hard to handle, [even] without anything in them, said Barbara.

The township officials stressed that this was a new program, and changes would be implemented if needed.