Monday, January 4, 2016

New Jersey counties, municipalities reap what they recycle

Did you know that every time a load of garbage is dumped at a New Jersey landfill or waste-to-energy plant a portion of the tipping fee collected goes to help enhance local recycling programs?

How does it work?

State law requires that money to go into a fund that is distributed annually in recycling grants to counties and municipalities based on how much recycling they do. So the more attention you pay as an individual, family or business to removing recyclable materials from your garbage, the more your town stands to collect.

If your collection system is 'single stream,' you don't have to separate recyclable paper, cans, certain plastics and glass from your garbage. It's done for you at a separation plant. 

Reports sent by towns and recycling businesses on how much recycling they do in a given year gets collected at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The Department then calculates how much each participating governmental unit will be awarded in recycling grants.

2015 Recycling Grants, announced last week, are based on 2013 activity.

The big winners
According to a DEP news release, municipal programs receiving the highest grant awards for 2013 recycling efforts are: 

Newark (Essex County) $414,754  

Jersey City (Hudson County) $290,150
Brick (Ocean County) $280,093
Vineland (Cumberland County) $255,217
Secaucus (Hudson County) $228,216
Paterson (Passaic County) $219,495
South Brunswick (Middlesex County) $179,776

Toms River (Ocean County) $174,524
North Bergen (Hudson County) $172,451
Woodbridge (Middlesex County) $167,846
Clifton (Passaic County) $166,856
Hamilton (Mercer County) $144,115
Cherry Hill (Camden County) $139.961
Middletown (Monmouth County) $118,916
Bridgewater (Somerset County) $114,698
Old Bridge (Middlesex County) $114,045
Carteret (Middlesex County) $108,392
Logan (Gloucester County)  $106,705
Fair Lawn (Bergen County) $103,437
East Brunswick (Middlesex County) $102,397
Paramus (Bergen County) $101,810;  and 
Freehold (Monmouth County) $100,741.

State law prohibits recyclable materials from being land-filled or burned. The law does not only apply to residents. Businesses and schools also must recycle, although some still do not and local governments might turn a blind eye. If your school district or shops that you patronize are not recycling, inform them of their obligation and encourage them to get with the program. 

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