CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
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TRENTON, N.J. - The Mercer County Improvement Authority has approved a new recycling contract that will save County residents more than $3.2 million over the next three years.

The contract, which was approved by the MCIA Board of Commissioners on October 13, retains recycling hauler Central Jersey Waste and Recycling but the process will shift from “dual stream” to “single stream” beginning January 1, 2010 and running through the end of 2012 to coincide with existing interlocal agreements with the participating municipalities.

“Single stream” means one recycling truck will haul away all residential and commercial recycling rather than having separate trucks pick up plastic and aluminum and paper, respectively. Residents can continue to separate their recyclables into two buckets or use a single bucket for all their recyclable material.

The total savings of the new contract equal $3,295,683 over three years, and there is absolutely no change or impact on residents, said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

The new contract will save money for every resident in the 10 Mercer County towns who participate in an interlocal agreement with the MCIA to provide recycling, said Hughes.

“Every one of these towns will see a significant reduction in the cost of recycling beginning very soon, and that’s good news for the taxpayers,” Hughes said. “Our residents will not be affected other than the savings across the board. I applaud the Mercer County Improvement Authority for working toward this goal and succeeding in attaining a contract that saves millions of dollars.”

MCIA Board of Commissioners Chairman Charles Marciante said the new deal is a win-win situation.

“The MCIA is tremendously pleased with this new contract and about what it means for residents who use our recycling program,” Marciante said. “It’s a beneficial situation for everyone involved.”

Hughes added that aside from financial savings, single stream recycling is better for the environment because fewer trucks are necessary, and better for quality of life due to the reduction in noise and recycling pick-up days in neighborhoods around the County.

Central Jersey Waste and Recycling will begin collecting all recyclables together next year, and the company will later separate the recyclables. Central Jersey Waste and Recycling is the current provider for nine of the Mercer County towns under the MCIA agreement, and with the new contract, Central Jersey will take over residential and commercial recycling in the City of Trenton from Waste Management.

Approximately 95,000 households in the County are serviced under the contract in 10 participating towns. The towns are: Hamilton, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough, Princeton Township, Princeton Borough, West Windsor and Pennington.

Hamilton Township will realize savings of $1,142,049 over the next three years, the largest savings of any town. The City of Trenton will save $916,606, Ewing Township will save $417,037, and Lawrence will save $275,602. Other towns will see significant savings as well.

The new contract signed by the MCIA was made possible after the MCIA’s current contract with paper recycler Homasote expired, allowing the MCIA to bid a single stream contract.

The MCIA notified each participating municipality of the change with a letter sent Oct. 14.