Meet Two New Jersey Recycling Pioneers- (Video Part 1)

New Jersey this week celebrates the 25th anniversary of the state law that got its residents recycling their cans, bottles, paper and other material in curbside pickups.

A celebration of that milestone will take place at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey tomorrow-- April 24--with a presentation by Assistant Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Jane Kozinski, panel discussions with recycling experts, and a keynote by former Governor Tom Kean.

EnviroPolitics interviews Jean Clark and Mary Sheil

Today, in the first of a two-part, video interview conducted on April 20 at Jean Clark's home in Upper Montclair, NJ, EnviroPolitics Editor Frank Brill asks Jean and Mary about New Jersey's early days of  recycling.

Jean Clark was a member of a women's club in Montclair whose volunteers established New Jersey's first municipal  recycling drop-off programs. The club plowed their earnings back into the program, purchased a recycling truck, and eventually convinced the town to take over the program and provide residential, curbside pickups. Montclair served as a model for other municipalities throughout the state. Jean went on to lobby for passage of the law that required all state residents to separate recyclable materials from their garbage. She remained an active participant for years with the New Jersey Recycling Forum.

Mary Sheil was the first administrator of the Office of Recycling within the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Mary helped write the state recycling plan and shepherded the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act through the state legislature. She served as New Jersey's chief government recycling advocate, helped establish technical and educational recycling programs at Rutgers University, and was an information resource for many who developed residential recycling programs in cities, counties and towns across America and abroad.

Part 2 of the interview will appear tomorrow. It will be followed by other videos conducted with government and industry experts that explore how recycling works in New Jersey, how it's changed over 25 years, and new technologies that are encouraging materials other than glass, paper and plastic to be captured and put to productive new uses.

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