A number of Westchester municipalities secure sanitation through competitive contract bidding to private haulers. Our research indicates that Greenburgh, which has its own in-house sanitation division, incurs substantial higher per-household costs compared to municipalities that outsource this service. The Town of Mt. Pleasant and Village of Rye Brook are useful for comparison purposes.
Mt. Pleasant, which borders Greenburgh to the north, delivers sanitation services to 7,500 households in its unincorporated area. Mt. Pleasant’s service levels are comparable to Greenburgh’s—namely, 2x/week garbage collection, each recycling every other week, sideyard service at an additional charge, and no leaf collection.
In 2016, the Town of Mt. Pleasant bid out its refuse contract. The $1.8 million contract saved Mt. Pleasant approximately $400,000 that fiscal year, or about 15% or its prior expenditures. If Greenburgh were to take a similar action and also reduce its costs by the same 15%, savings would approximate $1 million, thereby reducing the Greenburgh’s sanitation expenditures from their current $6.5 million to $5.5 million (budget relief which would benefit unincorporated area taxpayers whether or not Edgemont incorporates).
For a village comparable to Edgemont, Rye Brook is similar in terms of size, and is the most recent community in Westchester to incorporate (1983). It has utilized private hauling since the municipality was formed. The 2018-19 cost for its 3,300 households is $925,000 for a higher level of service (2x/week garbage, each recycling every week, and sideyard and leaf collection service at no additional charge) compared to Greenburgh.
The EIC believes that incorporation offers an exciting opportunity for Edgemont, and potentially all of unincorporated Greenburgh, to enjoy a higher level of sanitation services in a more cost-effective manner by taking advantage of private sector market competition and scale. If Greenburgh moves to outsource for the benefit of all unincorporated taxpayers (as recommended by the Greenburgh Budget Oversight Commission in 2011), the new village could “piggyback” on the Town’s contract, resulting in savings for both Edgemont and the 35,000 residents of non-Edgemont unincorporated Greenburgh.
If Edgemont were secure a village contract for its approximately 2,800 households, based on Rye Brook’s experience, $900,000 is a reasonable and conservative assumption for projection purposes.
Either approach (shared service with Greenburgh, or independent Edgemont contract) is affordable within the ample village revenues which would be credited to Edgemont at current Town tax rates.
Below are samples of private sanitation contracts in Westchester County:
- Town of Mt. Pleasant
- Village of Rye Brook
- Village of Pelham
- Town of North Castle (includes the hamlet of Armonk)
- Town of New Castle (includes the hamlet of Chappaqua)
Click here for additional information about sanitation services in the proposed Village of Edgemont.