Recycling funds for local towns

TRENTON – 

State recycling grants totaling approximately $226,000 are being awarded to the eight communities in The Observer coverage area to implement and enhance local recycling efforts, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection announced last week.

In all, 588 N.J. municipalities will share $15 million in grants awarded through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act.

The funds are being allocated based on the recycling successes local governments demonstrated in 2012. Disbursement was to begin last week.

The local grants are: Belleville, $15,615; Bloomfield, $31,538; East Newark, $3,890; Harrison, $23,367; Kearny, $54,617; Lyndhurst, $27,948; North Arlington, $27,669; Nutley, $40,369.

“The grants can help municipalities in many ways,” said Jane Herndon, DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management. “They can purchase the best and biggest recycling containers with these funds, educate residents and businesses about the benefits of recycling and help local governments support recycling staff.”

The recycling grant program is funded by a $3-per-ton surcharge on trash disposed of at solid waste facilities across the state. The DEP reported that, in 2012, New Jersey generated more than 10.2 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) — i.e., garbage — from homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, etc. That same year, the agency documented the recycling of more than 4.4 million tons of recyclable municipal waste, such as glass, aluminum and other metals, and paper.

This resulted in a MSW recycling rate of 44%, an increase of 4% over 2011. By comparison, the national MSW recycling rate in 2012 was 34.5% percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Overall, nearly 20.2 million tons of solid waste (including construction debris and other types of non-MSW waste) were generated in New Jersey in 2012, of which 11 million tons were recycled. The overall waste and amount of materials recycled were impacted significantly by debris generated by Superstorm Sandy, the DEP noted.

“We still have the goal of achieving 50% municipal recycling in New Jersey and we would like to see our overall recycling rate grow beyond 60% and stay there,” Herndon said.

For a complete list of recycling grants by municipality, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/recycling/ stat_links/2012payout.pdf.

For more information on recycling in New Jersey, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/ dshw/recycling.

– Karen Zautyk 

The Observer Staff