Seeking to boost recycling efforts


North Arlington has applied for a $5,000 N.J. Department of Environmental Protection Bonus Recycling Grant to promote recycling in public places in the borough, Mayor Joseph Bianchi said.

“Protecting our environment while reducing the cost of solid waste disposal will be a focus of my efforts as mayor,” Bianchi said. Increasing the volume of recycled materials should help both goals, he added.

Recycling paper conserves natural resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy and conserves space in landfills for trash that cannot be recycled and it saves taxpayers money by reducing landfill costs, Bianchi said. Similar benefits result from other recyclables such as glass, aluminum, tin, batteries, electronics, tires and appliances, he said.

Borough Administrator Stephen Lo Iacono said the grant money – if it is received by the borough – would pay for signs and fliers that would be posted in public parks and municipal buildings reminding borough employees and residents alike to practice recycling and to use proper recycling containers.

Borough workers, in particular, “need to set an example for the rest of the town,” Lo Iacono said.

“This effort will demonstrate our commitment to protecting our environment and at the same time reducing the cost of local government services,” said Bianchi.

Mark Cunningham, the borough’s recycling coordinator, said that during 2014, the borough collected 16,492 tons of recyclables from local residents and businesses, picked up by its trash vendor Cali Carting.

In recent years, he said, the borough has been averaging between 16,000 and 17,000 tons annually. Curbside pickups of recyclables are done weekly, alternating newspapers and cardboard one week and bottles, aluminum cans and plastics the other week.

With recycling revenues received annually, the borough has purchased recently a new pickup truck with a heavy lift gate and recycling barrels which are sold to residents for $8 to $10 apiece, he said.

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