Jersey awards $13 million in recycling grants
The New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) is providing municipalities and counties $13
million in grants to assist local recycling efforts, commissioner
Bob Martin announced.
The grant money is made available through the Recycling Enhancement
Act, a law that has significantly increased Recycling Tonnage
Grants the DEP is able to make to local governments. The grant
program is funded by a $3 per ton surcharge on trash disposed
at solid waste facilities.
Municipal governments, vital to the overall success of recycling,
receive 60 percent of the money the fund generates to help them
enhance outreach and compliance efforts. The balance is awarded
to county solid-waste management and household hazardous-waste
collection programs, county and state promotional efforts, and
recycling research. Individual grants are based on the recycling
success local governments demonstrated in 2008.
The programs receiving the highest grant awards this year based
on their recycling achievements are: Jersey City (Hudson) $267,674;
Vineland (Cumberland) $255,954; Newark (Essex) $232,709; Clifton
(Passaic) $207,094; North Bergen (Hudson) $172,539; Toms River
(Ocean) $164,350; South Brunswick (Middlesex) $149,198; Edison
(Middlesex) $148,583; Millville (Cumberland) $141,265; Piscataway
(Middlesex) $135,868; Cherry Hill (Camden) $133,693; and Woodbridge
“New Jersey’s recycling rates continue to trend upward,” said
Guy Watson, chief of the DEP’s Bureau of Recycling and Planning.
“We are seeing steady and encouraging increases in rates for
a number of reasons, including expanded public outreach efforts,
expansion of the types of materials municipalities are collecting,
and more convenient recycling options such as single-stream programs
that enable residents to put all of their recyclables out for
collection in one container.”
In 2008, New Jersey recycled more than 13 million tons of the
22.1 million tons of solid waste generated for an overall recycling
rate of 59.1 percent, compared to a rate of 57.3 percent in 2007.
This rate includes all types of waste recycled, including municipal
solid waste as well as bulky waste such as construction and demolition
debris, scrap metal and wood.
New Jersey generated slightly more than 10 million tons of municipal
solid waste, of which 3.8 million tons were recycled, for a 37.9
percent municipal solid waste recycling rate, an increase from
the 2007 rate of 36.5 percent. Materials recycled as part of
municipal programs includes paper, cardboard, glass, metal cans
The 37.9 percent municipal waste recycling rate is the highest
since 2003, when the rate had dipped to 32.7 percent.
New Jersey became the first state to require statewide recycling
in 1987 with passage of the Statewide Mandatory Source Separation
and Recycling Act. The state subsequently set a target of recycling
50 percent of the state’s municipal solid waste by 1995.
New Jersey came close to this goal, recycling nearly 45 percent
of its municipal solid waste in 1995. But rates dropped over
much of the next decade as a result of the expiration of a solid-waste
tonnage charge that funded local recycling efforts. Recycling
rates also dropped as a result of federal court rulings that
struck down state solid-waste flow rules that allowed counties
to direct trash to their facilities.
The Recycling Enhancement Act and programs initiated by the DEP
and local governments to promote the importance of recycling
have been reversing this trend over the past several years.