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news releases

October 17, 2012

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795


(12/P121) TRENTON - A Woodcliff Lake student who worked to recycle plastic bottles at his middle school, a Passaic County firm that made a major investment in developing single-stream recycling facilities, and a statewide organization that is the state’s leading recycling advocate are  among the businesses, organizations and individuals honored today at the state's annual Recycling Symposium and Awards Luncheon.

Jacob Sperber, Atlantic Coast Fibers, and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers were among the winners of awards during the luncheon at the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune. Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students from across the state also were honored for writing poems about recycling. Students wrote about ways their families recycle, why they think recycling is important, and how recycling preserves resources and protects the environment.

“Recycling should be an integral part of everyone’s life. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the state’s mandatory recycling law, recycling still remains one of the best ways for all of us to be actively engaged in protecting the environment and our natural resources,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “This year's award recipients are leaders who should serve as inspiration for all of us to recycle as much as possible at home and at work.”

New Jersey became the first state to require recycling with the passage of the New Jersey Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act in 1987. Today, the Christie Administration has developed policies to boost current recycling rates and adapt recycling strategies to match modern lifestyles.

The DEP, as part of that effort, requires counties to achieve recycling tonnage targets and, with local and county partners, promotes public participation in recycling programs.

Awards were presented during the annual New Jersey Recycling Symposium and Awards Luncheon, co-sponsored by the DEP and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.

WINNER: Samsel Upper Elementary School
The administration, staff and students at Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville have spearheaded a bottle cap recycling program, a composter recycling project and a waste-free lunch program. As a result of the waste-free lunch program, students are using more reusable containers and recycling their paper bags. The faculty also uses reusable lunch bags, coffee mugs and thermoses.  The school’s recycling efforts are paying off, with a dramatic increase in the amount of paper and cardboard recycled.

WINNER: Vernon Township
The Vernon Township Department of Public Works took over the daily operations of the local recycling center, previously run by outside vendors. Under DPW management, the center is saving money on operating costs while generating revenues from the sale of recyclables.
At the same time, operating hours remained the same, and the basic recyclables continued to be accepted, with the addition of other items such as scrap metal, white goods, consumer electronics, used motor oil, batteries, rigid plastics, and used clothing. In 2010 with outside vendor management, Vernon Township recycled 623 tons; in 2011, with DPW management, they recycled 821 tons—an increase of 32 percent.

WINNER: Jacob Sperber
As a student at the Woodcliff Middle School in Woodcliff Lake, Jacob Sperber noted that hundreds of water bottles were being tossed into the trash on a weekly basis. He displayed leadership by developing a plan that included outreach, incentives, assemblies, and contests to educate fellow students about the need to recycle bottles. His dedication eventually resulted in the recycling of thousands of bottles. As a result of his work, the school expanded recycling efforts to include hundreds of pounds of batteries.  

WINNER: Bergen County Utilities Authority-Education Program
The Bergen County Utilities Authority has developed a Recycling Discovery Box program and school curriculum supplement to help schools increase students’ environmental awareness at school, in the home and in their community. The Recycling Discovery Box contains 25 items that complement the lessons contained in the curriculum supplement, which contains information on recycling and waste reduction, and comes complete with lesson plans, handouts and worksheets.

WINNER: Atlantic Coast Fibers
Committed to a “zero-landfill society,” Atlantic Coast Fibers has operated in Passaic for more than 80 years.  The company recently made aggressive investments in new equipment to create a modern and efficient single-stream recycling facility capable of sorting 25 to 30 tons per hour of recyclables. Through the use of advanced automated equipment, the company can handle 30,000 to 40,000 tons per month of commingled containers and single stream recyclables.

Sunny Delight Beverages Co.
Sunny Delight Beverages Co.’s Dayton plant is proud of its zero waste to landfill achievement. The company maximizes recycling by conducting waste audits, researching recycling facilities, and following a recycling protocol that focuses first on reducing waste, then on reuse, and finally on maximizing recycling. Waste that can’t be reused or recycled goes to cogeneration. The plant has increased recycling by 54 percent rom 2007 to the present. The plant buys only recycled paper, and all its cardboard and bottle purchases have recycled content. The facility allows employees with limited curbside recycling to bring their recyclables to the site for inclusion in its recycling streams.

Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR)
The Association of New Jersey Recyclers is a non-profit network that serves as the voice of recycling in New Jersey through education, advocacy and the promotion of professional standards. ANJR works with legislators and regulators and has consistently sponsored and offered a wide variety of educational programs and resources on such diverse topics as yard waste composting, source reduction, per container rates, and food waste recycling. ANJR has served as an advocate for market development, promoting procurement of recycled products, identifying uses of non-traditional recyclable materials, identifying long-term funding for recycling education and programs, and promoting electronics waste management.

GRADE 4: Alex Conklin, Beach Haven Elementary School, Beach Haven; Elizabeth Piatkowski, Saint Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach; Calvin Lin, Dawes Avenue School, Somers Point;
Maggie Boyle, Horace Mann School, Bayonne.

GRADE 5: Carley Swanson, Mary E. Volz Middle School, Runnemede; Celina Peralta
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Tenafly; Ruth Dorilas, New York Avenue School
Atlantic City; Drashti Lapsiwala, New York Avenue School, Atlantic City

GRADE 6: Meaghan Imossi, St. Joseph School, Mendham; Christina Giordano, St. Cassian School
Montclair; Diana Baxter, St. Francis Academy, Union City; Rachel Walters, Queen of Peace Elementary School, North Arlington

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Bernette Lao, Taylor Abrams, Robert Brink, Tia Kotula, ECLC of New Jersey, Chatham



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Last Updated: October 17, 2012