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DPW Explains Budget Cuts, New Technology

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – While the department of public works is not able to cut services in the 2012 proposed budget, it is trimming expenses and looking into new technology that could save the town money in the future.

At this week's work session, Victor Carosi, commissioner of DPW, said that town residents can expect a slight reduction of services in 2012, but nothing drastic impacting the department's general output.

"It was always the question of what services would the residents be willing to no longer have and at what cost or savings would those services be," Carosi said. "The goal was to try to maintain services. It's tough when you look at the department of public works and understand what we provide."

DPW is in charge of many of the town's maintenance services, like garbage and leaves collection, brush collection and snow removal.

In 2012, DPW will lose four employees, three from the sanitation department and one from the highway department, to attrition. Carosi said the losses should not damper garbage pickup because they have been consolidating routes in past years as the volume of collected materials has decreased and worker efficiency has increased.

Carosi is looking into a new piece of technology that could potentially save the town money by using an automated collection system. It would reach out and grab a 90-gallon wheeled container, rather than a 30-gallon one, and dump it into the truck. The mechanical system would only need one person on the garbage truck rather than three, and collect garbage once a week rather than twice.

"We have to see how it works," said Carosi. "I'm not going to say it's perfect, which is why we have to do everything in measured, careful steps. We have to slowly approach the situation and do a trial period somewhere to see what may be affected."

The automated system has never been used in Westchester County, although White Plains is starting a trial run beginning next week.

Carosi added that DPW is not certain that they will use this system, as it might not be best for Greenburgh. He disclosed that even though it could save money from using less manpower, it would first need a large investment for new equipment.

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