Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions relating to the Clerk's Office.

 Who should I call to report a missed garbage pick-up?

Call the DPW office at 201-262-8199 to report the missed pick up.  They can help you determine if there was a reason it was not picked up.  If no determination is made, the incident will be logged and reported to the hauler.  The hauler will do their best to accommodate the resident by arranging a special pick-up; however, if there is no truck available, the borough requests your patience and understanding that occasionally mistakes happen and kindly remove your container(s) from the curb until the next scheduled trash pick-up.

 Can I receive a summons for leaving my garbage pails out by the curb between pick up?

Yes, pails or bags may not be placed curbside any earlier than 6 PM the night before a scheduled pick up and must be removed by 9 PM on the day of collection.

 Do I need a permit to cut down a tree on my property?

If the tree is beyond 10 feet of the street line, you are not required to do anything by local ordinance and the borough is not responsible for its care and pruning.  If you have concerns in regard to a borough shade tree bordering your property, you may call the Municipal Clerk's office at 201-262-6086 Option 9 or email the Department of Public Works at and provide your address and contact information.  Someone will address your concern and notify you of their findings.

 Do I need a permit to hold a garage sale?

No, but there are restrictions where temporary signage can be placed, and we ask that no signs are attached to utility poles or in borough right-of-way, and that all notices are removed as soon as the event is over.

 How do I contact the Municipal Clerk's office?

The Municipal Clerk's office phone numbers are 201-262-6086.  Hours are 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM.  To contact a specific employee, view our staff directory.

 How do I get rid of an old washing machine?

Old appliances and hot water heaters are considered "white metal" and instructions are on the Garbage and Recycling Schedule for their disposal and collection.  "White metal" is considered a special pick-up by the DPW, as well as most other metals.  Notify the Municipal Clerk's office or the DPW when your appliance is curbside.  It will be picked up by the DPW within a couple of days weather permitting.

 How do I request copies of the municipal budget or meeting minutes of a public hearing?

Copies of our Municipal Budget and meeting minutes are available on this website if they have been approved by Borough Council and posted.  You can also complete a public document request form online and submit it to the Municipal Clerk's office via email or fax, or simply stop into the office of the Municipal Clerk to do the same.  The Municipal Budget is also on file at the Emerson Public Library for your convenience.  There is a fee for copies reproduced.

 How is the government organized in Emerson and when do they meet?

Emerson is organized under the "borough" form which is also referred to as the "weak" Mayor form since the Mayor can only vote to break a tie and has no veto power.  The Mayor is elected for a four-year term at the November General Election, presides over the bi-monthly Council meetings, and sits on the Planning Board as the Class I member by virtue of his office.  He/she also has the unilateral power to make certain board and commission appointments without a confirming vote of the rest of the governing body.

The Council Members are elected for staggered three-year terms and vote on matters such as local laws, the adoption of the muncipal budget, and the raising of taxes.

The Mayor and Council meet on the first and third Tuesday of the month except for holidays or election days in the Council Chambers of the Borough Hall on Linwood Avenue and Municipal Place at 7:30 PM.

You may contact the Mayor and Council by phone at 201-262-6086, by email at, in writing to the Municipal Clerk for the "Mayor and Council" at Borough Hall, 1 Municipal Place, Emerson, NJ 07630 or during the public comment portion of the Mayor and Council meeting.

 I just moved into town and want to register to vote. Where do I go?

You can pick up a Voter Registration Form and Absentee Ballot Applications in the Municipal Clerk's office between the hours of 9 AM-5 PM, Monday through Friday.  Complete the form, sign and mail it to the address on the front of the form. 

 I need a copy of my deed. Is it on file at the Borough Hall?

Probably not.  The borough is not required to maintain those records.  The County does and you should contact the County Clerk's office in Hackensack at 201-336-7000.

 I need to renew a passport. Can I apply at Borough Hall?

Not at this time.  You can pick up the application at Borough Hall.  However, it is processed at the County Clerk's office in Hackensack, by mail to Trenton for expedited service or at a few local satellite offices within the County.

 I want to put an addition on my house. What approvals do I need and how do I get them?

Contact the Construction Office at 201-262-6086 x1214.  You must also be directed by them to contact the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a variance should the improvement you would like to do is not in conformance to the borough code.  There are application fees and a public hearing associated with applying for a variance.

 I want to volunteer, but I do not know who to approach or where there is a need. Whom shall I contact?

There are many borough boards, commissions and civic organizations that are always eager for new volunteers with expertise in certain areas.  You may contact the Municipal Clerk in writing who will forward your letter of interest to the Mayor and Council, contact the Mayor via email at or a member of the commission or committee in which you are interested in.

 Is there a schedule available that tells what days my refuse and recyclables will be collected?

Yes, you may view and print the calendar available on the home page on our website, or you may call the DPW office for a schedule to be mailed to your home.

 Is there commuter parking in town?

Yes, there are limited and restricted municipal parking areas within the borough.  You can apply at the Police Department for a resident sticker; however, the spaces are on a first come - first served basis.

 Who do I contact to report a street light out?

PSE & G maintains the poles and replaces the street lamps.  Each pole has a metal plate at eye level with a number on it.  Relay this number to the Emerson Police Department who will report it to PSE & G.

 Who should I contact with a complaint about my neighbor's dog?

We recommend that you try to resolve an issue between you and your neighbor first before contacting borough officials.  Fellow residents are mostly reasonable when approached in a friendly, non-confrontational manner.  If the problem persists, inquire if there is a local ordinance regulating the nuisance; and if so, ask to be put in touch with the borough agency that enforces the ordinance. 

 Will my property taxes go up if I make an improvement to my home?

Not necessarily and no ballpark figure estimates can be given by the borough professionals.  The Tax Assessor can speak to you in generalities, but the best advice is not to let the fear of paying more taxes discourage you from investing in your home in ways that will give you many years of pride and pleasure while adding to its value.