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Murphy Administration awards more than $16M to reduce waste, promote recycling across New Jersey

NEW JERSEY – The Murphy Administration is awarding nearly $16.2 million in grants to communities across the state to help them enhance waste reduction and recycling programs, a slight increase over the previous year’s total, according to Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.

The annual awards are based on 2019 recycling performance, the most recent year for which data is available. Municipalities must use their funds for various recycling initiatives. These may include sponsoring household hazardous waste collection events, providing recycling receptacles in public places, or maintaining leaf composting operations.

“Our state recycling grants support local waste reduction initiatives, helping to reduce local property tax burdens for New Jersey residents while improving the cleanliness of our communities,” LaTourette said. “This vital state support for our local governments helps to strengthens municipal commitment to recycling and improves the quality of life for countless New Jerseyans.”

The grants are awarded through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act and are funded through a $3 per-ton surcharge on trash disposed statewide at solid waste facilities. The DEP returns that money to municipalities based upon how much recycling each community reports accomplishing during the calendar year.

For calendar year 2019, New Jersey generated 21.8 million tons of solid waste. Municipalities, and in limited instances counties, reported 12.1 million tons as recycled and 9.6 million tons of solid waste disposed, for an overall recycling rate of 56 percent. This represents a slight decrease from the 2018 rate of 59 percent. Solid waste includes municipal waste plus construction debris and other types of non-municipal waste.

New Jersey generated 9.7 million tons of municipal solid waste. Municipalities, and in limited instances counties, reported recycling 3.6 million tons of municipal solid waste and disposing 6 million tons of it. Higher disposal versus recycling of municipal solid waste in 2019 compared with 2018 caused the municipal solid waste recycling rate to dip one percentage point to 38 percent.

New Jersey’s municipal solid waste recycling rate exceeds the national recycling rate average of 32 percent but is below the state’s municipal solid waste recycling goal of 50 percent.

“The annual distribution of recycling tonnage grants helps fund recycling initiatives that will educate the public about the importance of keeping New Jersey’s environment clean,” said Mark Pedersen, Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management. “New Jersey remains a national leader in recycling, and these awards demonstrate our commitment to continually enhancing our recycling program.”

Additionally, the payout amount for food waste was increased this year to encourage food waste recycling in conjunction with the Food Waste Recycling and Food Waste-to-Energy Production Law.

Local governments receiving grants of more than $100,000 for 2019 recycling efforts are:

  • Bergen County: Paramus, $211,837; Edgewater, $155,820
  • Burlington County: Florence, $121,019
  • Camden County: Cherry Hill, $131,431
  • Cape May County: Wildwood, $136,379
  • Cumberland County: Vineland, $450,178; Millville, $133,757
  • Essex County: Newark, $254,514; East Orange, $105,696
  • Gloucester County: Logan, $238,748
  • Hudson County: Jersey City, $324,964; Secaucus, $138,422; Union City, $134,561; Bayonne, $115,257
  • Mercer County: Hamilton, $173,888
  • Middlesex County: Edison, $258,786; South Brunswick, $232,539; Woodbridge, $220,660 Monroe, $216,331; Old Bridge, $132,595; Piscataway, $130,384; East Brunswick, $124,480; New Brunswick, $104,226
  • Monmouth County: Wall, $116,305; Middletown, $109,150
  • Morris County: Parsippany-Troy Hills, $120,394
  • Ocean County: ; Toms River, $199,454; Lakewood, $150,813; Brick, $114,998
  • Passaic County: Paterson, $301,917; Clifton, $139,404; Wayne, $106,340; Passaic, $100,891
  • Somerset County: Bridgewater, $185,376; Branchburg, $131,175

For a complete list of grants by municipality, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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