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June 23, 2009

Re:  Supreme Court Rules that Curbside Trash Collection by Municipality for Apartment Complex is Not Sufficient

Dear Mayor:

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the holding of the Appellate Division today in the case of Berk-Cohen Associates at Rustic Village, LLC v Town of Clayton concerning  the obligation of a municipality to pick up (or pay for) the collection of trash in an apartment complex. 

In this case the town offered the apartment complex the same service offered to other residents as fixed by ordinance, i.e., curbside collection in standard containers on a weekly basis.  The apartments rejected that option as inconvenient and unsanitary and sued to collect reimbursement for its contract for dumpster collection.

The Appellate Division ruled in favor of the Town and held that offering the apartments the same form and frequency of trash collection provided to other residential properties was all that was required of the municipality. However, the Supreme Court disagreed and held that, in this situation, reimbursement by the municipality for the dumpster collection used by the complex was necessary under the law.

If you have any questions or concerns about this communication, please contact Deborah M. Kole, staff attorney, at the League, ex. 137, or at  The weblink for the decision is:

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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