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Tarrytown-SleepyHollow Daily Voice serves Sleepy Hollow & Tarrytown

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Sleepy Hollow Looks To Garbage For Cost Savings

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y.-- In waste management, there’s one predictable point where they know there’s going to be a high flow of wastewater: about 40 minutes after Super Bowl halftime.They also know the day with the heaviest garbage is always right after Thanksgiving.

Timothy Judge knows those two things, but he wants to find out more so that the village of Sleepy Hollow understands where the costs lie.

“There are things that we need to start to uncover, if you will, by doing the study and that study would look at essentially following the garbage,” Judge said.

Judge is proposing a study of the village’s waste management system. It would take three to four weeks and cost $15,000 to $20,000.

Sleepy Hollow mayor Ken Wray brought Judge to the Board of Trustees work session last Tuesday to discuss what he’d like to do. “Now is the time,” he said, “for us to start preparing for next budget season.”

The goal for next budget season is to maintain a 2 percent or less tax increase. Wray says that’s means either leaving vacant positions open, laying people off or trading off on services. The proposed study is an opportunity to “start looking at some of the things where there may be an opportunity for some savings.”

“No one has studied the village’s waste management system in a thorough enough way that we could look at it and say ‘Yeah, there’s definitely some innovations that we could do,’” he said.

Judge told the trustees that there may be opportunities to save on waste management without making changes to employment that include improving efficiencies in collection and doing more with the resources they have.

There are two main cost components, Judge said: fixed costs such as equipment purchases, vehicles, maintenance costs and labor costs, and variable costs, such as fuel. Reducing variable costs may be a way to save money, Judge said.

For example, to improve fuel efficiency, Judge said the village could look at changing the pickup schedule or trying to create a more efficient garbage route.

“I need to understand what volumes of waste the village actually generate,” Judge said.

Wray agreed. He proposed meeting with Judge to work out the scope of the study and coming back in a few weeks. Wray hopes to have a plan laid out so that there might be changes well in advance of budget season.

“We really do need to know what we’re doing now and what the costs are,” he said.

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