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Port Monmouth Section, Looking To Move On, Wants the Garbage Gone

Three weeks after Hurricane Sandy, small mountains of debris line some blocks in the hard-hit "wet side" of Port Monmouth.

Residents in a devastated section of Port Monmouth say they have been living with the demoralizing sight of post-Sandy debris and regular trash outside their homes for weeks, and its becoming a public sanitation concern. 

But township officials say their streets have been serviced. It's just that as soon as they are cleared, more garbage finds its way out to the curb. 

"We've been waiting for them to pick up the trash for weeks, but they don't come back," said Robert Androvette, on Lydia Place. Outside his house was several full garbage cans neatly lined up at the curb, as well as a huge pile of waterlogged furniture and carpet from the flooded crawl space. "It's still keeping us in a 'stuck' state of mind. We just want to see it gone."

In response to residents' complaints about bulk and household trash pickup in Port Monmouth on Monday morning, Mayor Tony Fiore reached out to DPW Director Joseph E. “Ted” Maloney, who said that specialized carrier Ashbritt Inc. has already made the rounds "at least twice" for construction and household materials. Also, Bennett and Sutton Trucking are supposed to perform bulk collections for things like furniture twice a week, on regularly scheduled trash pickup days. Contracts for the specialized work was approved in a government meeting on Nov. 15.

But locals say they've seen no trucks. 

"I've been looking at the same pile, from a gutted house, on Renfrew and Brainard for two and a half weeks," said Bill Young of Brainard Avenue. 

"We need it picked up so we can look a little normal around here," Young said. "We've got scavengers coming through at night, people picking up stuff out of your garbage."

Around the corner, Frank DeLello of Renfrew Place said that when he gets up around 4 o'clock in the morning, he sees rodents and possum rooting through the piled-up trash and food that was left to rot in an abandoned refrigerator. In some cases, trash is seeping through garbage bags folks had to turn to because their cans washed away.

"We'd like to see it gone, as soon as possible," said DeLello. "They've got to clear this. I pay a lot of taxes." 

John Geurtse of Wilson Avenue, who was out walking his pit bull on the local streets, said he has had to be especially careful to keep away from the broken glass and tiles strewn about. He wondered why the trash and debris was still around, weeks later. "Maybe it's time people have to start thinking about getting Dumpsters?" he said. 

Mayor Fiore said one need only take in the stunning sight of the mountain of debris at the Middletown Township Fire Department Training Academy on Normany Road to realize how much has been collected. 

"I know I've been talking with DPW, and that more and more garbage and debris gets put out everyday," said Fiore. "You make some progress, and the next day the pile is high at the curb again." 

He added, "I know it’s been a very challenging and frustrating time and we’ll consider seeing if more needs to be done there." 

The mayor expected to be in the neighborhood around 3 p.m., when Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to give a press conference at the Port Monmouth Firehouse. 

djkimbrie December 03, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I live on Monmouth Avenue in Port Monmouth and find it sad that the township (government) were not the ones there for us....it was all the outside people...Christian Ministries, Church Volunteer Groups, Mississippi State Police, and local residents that were there to help us. I called the township one day to find out about garbage pickup and was rudely hung up on because the only number to get through to a person was the police....really? They have no problem collecting our tax money though....!
Melissa December 03, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I completely agree with you!! The garbage pick up is absolutely horrible!! I live on Monmouth Ave in N. Middletown. There is so much debris on our street and no one picks it up. The garbage men told me if its not in a bag, they refuse to take it! Ridiculous!!
Gary Junstrom December 03, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Gee that's funny djkimbrie, from what I understand, the town had a 24-hour command center dispatching emergency workers all over town, they set up a shelter and collection facility at Croydon Hall, secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated food, clothes and supplies and set up a disaster relief fund specifically for Middletown. They even organized local volunteers - I know, I was one of about 300 people who showed up at town hall, where the police chief, OEM chief, township administrator and all five township committee people were there to brief everybody on what to do. Middletown's response was great, but I think you are just naturally ungrateful because you are one of those people who think government should do everything for you and when they don't make your boo boo all better instantly, you whine and whine.
tom nemec December 13, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I live on Brainard ave . I found the township officials to be extremely helpful and diligent in the removal process of debris. This was the worst flood ever in our area. It takes time to get to everyone. One day a private hauler hired by the town left a few items on the street a neighbor called and they were removed in minuets. The truck was full and that is why it was left. This MONDAY RESIDENTS OF PORT MONMOUTH NEED TO go to the town meeting and express their concerns. Don’t fight and accuse, offered solutions and form a good argument. I’m just a resident. I stayed in my flooded out house to safe guard the area when everyone left and also those who got a lot less hurt seemed to complain the most. OFFER SOLUTIONS. I saw trucks working at all times and I regularly traveled to other towns to match and compare and we were attended to really well. In a disaster like this it is important to remove the debris from your house immediately. There were still people cleaning out weeks after the flood.
tom nemec December 13, 2012 at 08:44 PM
What is really needed are flood gates at both marinas that flank Port Monmouth. That is where the flood water comes in from. Port Monmouth Marina and Sea Streak marina. The flood water does not come over the dunes otherwise the dunes would have been competly washed away as they were in Sea Bright.

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