Strike Causes Trash Pile Up
Trash pick-up in the Borough has been "modest and spotty" after the announcement of the Waste Management, Inc. strike on Monday, according to Bob Bruschi, Borough administrator. Mr. Bruschi said that while garbage trucks were visible in town on Monday, he saw no indication that any garbage was picked up. On Tuesday, however, certain areas did have their trash picked up by replacement employees of Waste Management.
The company is employed by Princeton Borough, as well as by other Mercer County municipalities, including Hamilton, Ewing, and Lawrence Townships. When running on a regular schedule, those living on the east side of the Borough have trash pick-up on Monday and Thursday; those on the west side have pick-up on Tuesday and Friday.
Waste Management's contract with nearly 200 workers from Local 701 expired at the end of 2004, and a final offer was rejected by the union on Sunday by a vote of 158-1. Pickets have been seen this week outside facilities in Ewing, Hamilton, and Trenton.
Workers were said to be dissatisfied with an offer of a 4 percent raise that would result in a pay cut after a 7 percent increase in the cost of benefits.
Borough residents should continue to put out their trash on the appropriate days unless they hear otherwise, said Mr. Bruschi, hoping for a speedy conclusion to the strike that's causing a "pile up" in town. Right now the Borough is looking at alternatives, he said, but there don't appear to be many choices.
On Monday Borough merchants were notified by email of the strike, as most businesses have private contracts with trash haulers. Mr. Bruschi asked merchants using Waste Management to keep the trash on the roads down to a minimum, and to employ alternative companies for the time being.
"We don't want a lot of garbage piled up on Nassau Street," he said.
The Township is not -experiencing the same problem as the Borough, as residents there contract companies of their own choice, including Raritan Valley Disposal, MIDCO Residential, Eddie Robinson, David Taylor, and Mark Taylor. Township residents are asked to continue to put out their trash as usual, including those who contract with Waste Management.
Recycling in both the Borough and Township should be put out on the regularly scheduled days, as pick-up is controlled by Central Jersey Waste & Recycling, Inc., under a contract with the county. (Matthew Hersh contributed to this story.)