New Jersey awards record amount in grants
New Jersey’s municipalities and counties are receiving
a record $8 million in recycling grants as a result
of the state’s new recycling enhancement law, Department
of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P.
The Recycling Enhancement Act, signed into law by
Governor Jon Corzine in January, boosts the amount
of grant money available to local governments by
creating a recycling enhancement fund through a
$3-per-ton surcharge on trash taken to solid waste
Municipal governments, vital to the 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
The new law recognizes that it will take time for
the recycling enhancement fund to become fully self-supporting.
As a result, the law allows for an $8 million start-up
appropriation from the state’s general fund to be
made available as local recycling grants during
the program’s first year. The appropriation will
be repaid from future money generated.
The grants are double last year’s total and are
$2.5 million more than the previous high of $5.5
million awarded in 1995. Money collected through
the surcharge on trash disposal will be used to
repay the initial appropriation.
After years of stagnating recycling rates, the overall
municipal solid waste recycling rate for New Jersey
increased to 36 percent in 2006, up two percent
from the previous year. Moreover, rates increased
across the board for items typically recycled in
municipal programs such as paper, cardboard, glass,
metal cans and plastic.
In 2006, New Jersey generated nearly 22.7 million
tons of total solid waste, which includes municipal
waste as well as construction and demolition debris,
scrap iron, wood and other bulky items. Of this
total, 12.4 million tons were recycled, resulting
in an overall solid waste recycling rate of 55 percent.
Approximately 11 million tons were categorized as
municipal waste. Of this, more than 3.9 million
tons of paper, glass, metal and aluminum cans, plastics
and yard waste were recycled, resulting in the 36
percent municipal waste recycling rate.
Grant payouts are allocated to local governments
based on the number of tons of materials they recycled
For a list of grant recipients, visit