The Christie Administration announced that New Jersey’s local governments will receive $14.3 million in state grants to enhance recycling efforts in their communities. The grants are based on 2015 recycling performance and are awarded through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act.
“Recycling is one thing each one of us can do every day to protect the environment,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. “Recycling conserves resources, results in less waste going to disposal facilities, helps local governments save money, and creates jobs and economic growth. We are very proud of the many cities and towns across the state that continue to increase their recycling rates.”
The DEP’s recycling grant program is funded by a $3 per-ton surcharge on trash disposed at solid waste facilities across the state. Each award is based on materials collected and recycled, and are to be used in various ways to improve recycling efforts, including funding recycling coordinators, education outreach and curbside pickup programs.
Based on 2015 data, New Jersey generated slightly more than 10 million tons of municipal solid waste, with 4.3 million pounds recycled. This resulted in a 43 percent municipal solid waste recycling rate, a two percent increase compared to the previous year. New Jersey’s municipal solid waste recycling rate is well above the national average of about 34 percent, but short of the state’s 50 percent goal.
New Jersey was the first state to require residents to recycle with the adoption in 1987 of the New Jersey Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act, which requires recycling by residents, businesses and institutions such as schools and hospitals.
“New Jersey is proud of being the first state to require recycling, and remaining a leader in the nation through our communities’ strong recycling efforts,” said Mark Pedersen, DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management. “We are pleased to see that residents, schools and businesses continue to do their part by integrating recycling into their daily lives and challenge them to help us achieve our 50 percent target.”
Overall, New Jersey in 2015 generated 23.8 million tons of solid waste, which includes municipal waste plus construction debris and other types of non-municipal waste. Of this, more than 14.9 million tons were recycled, for an overall recycling rate of 63 percent, a one percent increase compared to the previous year.
Municipalities receiving grants of more than $100,000 for 2015 recycling efforts are: Newark (Essex County), $361,403; Jersey City (Hudson County), $306,936; Vineland (Cumberland County), $306,682; Paterson (Passaic County), $229,614; Woodbridge (Middlesex County) $221,374; South Brunswick (Middlesex County), $191,150; Clifton (Passaic County), $171,946; Monroe (Middlesex County), $171,436; Secaucus (Hudson County), $162,411; and Edison (Middlesex County), $160,563.
Also, Parsippany-Troy Hills (Morris County), $158,289; Toms River (Ocean County), $152,337; South Plainfield (Middlesex County), $148,822; Paramus (Bergen County), $148,374; Cherry Hill (Camden County), $136,942; Hamilton (Mercer County), $124,189; Middletown (Monmouth County), $114,379; Lakewood (Ocean County), $111,146; Brick (Ocean County), $109,895; Gloucester Township (Camden County), $107,304; Freehold Township (Monmouth County), $106,114; Union City (Hudson County), $102,228; and Bridgewater (Somerset County), $100,146.