Thursday, July 31, 2008

How can NJ towns save money? Recycle

Caught in a vise between rising operating expenses and shrinking state aid, New Jersey municipalities are scrambling to avoid raising local property taxes.

Some are looking to save money by consolidating services with adjoining towns. Others are trimming staffs, eliminating programs and even implementing four-day work weeks by shutting down town hall on Fridays.

John Haas, Ocean County's recycling coordinator, has an additional suggestion: Step up enforcement of the state's mandatory recycling law.

"It currently costs $71 to dump a ton of garbage at the (county) landfill in Manchester Township, and towns get a $17 rebate for every ton of recycled waste they bring to the county's recycling facility in Stafford Township, " Haas is quoted as saying in an
Atlantic City Press story.

He noted that, by recycling, towns not only save the tipping fee and but also gain the rebate. "That's an $88 benefit for a single ton," he said.

Similar savings are available across the state. But recycling officials statewide complain that private businesses and public institutions, like schools, often ignore state law which requires
the recycling of cans, bottles and paper.

With budgets getting tighter, that could change, as both the private and public sectors look to trim costs and counties and towns step up their recycling enforcement.

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