Township council members voted on first reading Tuesday night to approve a bond measure that will allow Brick to switch to automated recycling pickup.
Automated recycling pickup, also known as "robo-recycling," uses trucks and cans similar to the township's automated trash pickup, which has been in existence for many years.
To get the program started, the township will bond $3,709,085 this year which will cover the purchase of six automated trucks, about 30,000 cans and dumpsters for condominium units and schools.
The bond will provide for other equipment for the Public Works department, as well, including two front-loader trucks.
"As soon as we're able to get the trucks and all the cans out to the residents, we're going to be kicking that off," said Council President John Ducey, explaining that the move to automated recycling should save the township money.
"It's actually going to make the town money, because more and more people are going to recycle," said Ducey. "It builds over the years."
Councilman Dan Toth said the township will save money in "tipping fees" paid to landfills since there will be less trash to deposit, as well as by way of fewer worker's compensation claims since automated recycling is safer for employees.
"There are soft cost changes we're going to see that will benefit us," said Toth.
Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said Toms River saw a 15 percent jump in recycling participation once it began its automated program. For every 10 percent increase in participation comes an extra $210,000 net benefit for the township, he said.
That amount alone, he said, would cover the cost of the debt service on the bond.
Before the bond ordinance can be passed, the council must vote for it on second reading. The second reading of the measure will include a public hearing before the vote.