Recycling To Get More Convenient As Towns Enter Recycling Agreements With County

recycling-binsResidential recycling is going to get even more convenient in the New Year as Ocean County and its municipalities gear up for single-stream recycling. “Recycling paper got easier in Ocean County last year when we moved to a new program allowing residents to place all paper items including newsprint, junk mail, magazines and cardboard in one container for curb side collection,” said Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the county’s recycling program. “Next year, we take the concept one step further when we allow towns to have all recyclable materials placed in one container for collection.

“The process won’t get any easier than that,” Lacey said. “All the materials will go in one bin and we will do the sorting when it comes to the county’s regional recycling centers.”

Lacey said the municipalities that currently are renewing their five year agreements with the county will be able to take advantage of the new collection program while continuing to participate in such recycling programs as paint management, household hazardous waste collection and shrink wrap recycling.

“We believe these upcoming changes will result in greater participation in recycling by our residents,” Lacey said. “We have come from sorting everything and placing it at the curb to soon being able to put it all in one container for curbside collection.”

In order to accommodate the future changes to recycling, work is currently under way at the Ocean County Materials Processing Facility on New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood to retrofit the facilities in order to accept the single stream of recyclables.

Detailed design and building engineering is in progress and nearing completion. New equipment fabrication is underway and application has been made for building permits.

By the end of November demolition is expected to start on the existing paper sort room and related equipment at the northern recycling center. Building modifications are scheduled to begin by mid-December and new equipment is expected to be installed at the beginning of the New Year.

“We are very excited about implementing this new recycling procedure,” Lacey said. “We have always said by making the program convenient more and more people will get into the habit of recycling. This change makes the program as convenient as it can be.”

Lacey said having towns enter into five-year agreements with the county is key to providing the towns with the tools they need to run an efficient recycling program.

“As a result of the agreements, municipalities share in the revenues produced by recycling, the recycling minigrant program overseen by the county and a host of other advantages,” Lacey said. “Since 1995, the county has distributed $16 million to the municipalities through the recycling revenue sharing program.

“The agreement also insures that a town has uninterrupted access to the county’s regional recycling centers,” Lacey said.

All of Ocean County’s large municipalities including Lakewood, Toms River and Brick, have indicated they will renew their agreements with the county.

“The single stream recycling will increase efficiencies especially for the large towns that already use the robo-trucks for trash collection,” Lacey said. “Single stream recycling can be picked up like daily trash is, and only a driver is needed on the truck.

“With single-stream recycling, collection will be more convenient for our residents and more efficient for the towns that are collecting the material,” Lacey said. “We believe this change will help boost our recycling rates and that is good for the environment and the economy.

“Since we began operating our materials processing facility in Lakewood in 1991, we processed 1,324,140 tons of materials resulting in a total savings of $95,549,942 by avoiding the tipping fee at the landfill,” Lacey said. “That is a significant saving. This new collection system should increase that tonnage along with the savings.” Jackson Online.

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