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news releases

October 22, 2012

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


(12/P123) TRENTON - New Jersey’s municipalities will receive $13.1 million in state grants to help implement and enhance local recycling efforts, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

The funds are being awarded through the Recycling Enhancement Act (REA), a law that has significantly increased recycling tonnage grants the DEP is able to distribute to almost all of the state’s cities and towns.

“Recycling is a high priority of the Christie Administration because it improves our environment while also creating tangible economic benefits for municipalities,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “As we observe the 25th anniversary of the state’s Mandatory Recycling Act this year, a landmark law that made New Jersey the first state to require recycling, we are making a call to  action across the state for everyone to renew their commitment to recycle.’’

The recycling grant program is funded by a $3 per ton surcharge on trash disposed at solid waste facilities. Distribution of grant funds this year is based on the recycling successes local governments demonstrated in 2010. In 2010, New Jersey reached a 40-percent municipal solid waste or MSW recycling rate for the first time since 1998.

Municipal governments, vital to the overall success of recycling, receive 60 percent of the money the fund generates to help them enhance recycling 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.

Municipal programs receiving the highest grant awards this year are: Newark (Essex County) $299,903; Jersey City (Hudson) $278,748; Paterson (Passaic) $238,701; Clifton (Passaic) $222,103; Toms River (Ocean) $177,138; North Bergen (Hudson) $156,715; South Brunswick (Middlesex) $155,271; Cherry Hill (Camden) $140,641; Monroe (Middlesex) $130,077 and Hamilton (Mercer) $127,490.

For a list of 2010 grant payouts for municipalities statewide, visit:

New Jersey became the first state to require statewide recycling in 1987 with passage of the Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act. Municipal solid waste, collected from households and small commercial establishments, includes paper, corrugated paper, glass, metal containers and plastics.

“We are striving to achieve 50 percent recycling of municipal solid waste for environmental and economic reasons,’’ said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Management Jane Kozinski. “Many municipalities are leaving money on the table by not maximizing recycling efforts because they can save dollars for every ton of material that is not tossed into the trash.’’

“This grant program plays a key part in our effort to boost recycling throughout the state. The grants we are announcing today will help our municipalities purchase the best and biggest recycling containers, educate residents and businesses, and support a dedicated recycling staff.”

Several New Jersey municipalities have been leaders in recycling, offering exemplary programs that make recycling convenient for residents and get positive results.

South Brunswick, for example, had a municipal solid waste rate of 50 percent in 2010, and a total recycling rate –including larger commercial, demolition, industrial waste -- of 71 percent. Its tonnage grant of $155,271 is nearly $110,000 more than the REA tax it paid on disposal. Had the businesses and residents of South Brunswick sent their recyclables to the landfill, the DEP estimates the city would have spent an additional $6.7 million in disposal costs.

“Recycling is very important to us,” said South Brunswick Mayor Frank Gambatese. “It does save us money in our budget, but more importantly it helps the environment and that’s very important to our residents. Many people in our town have said they like our recycling program because we make it so easy.  These grants help us to improve our recycling outreach, education, programs and recycling equipment.”

Among other noteworthy municipalities that earned tonnage grants much greater than the REA taxes they paid in 2010 are Galloway, Atlantic County; Carlstadt, Bergen County; Delran, Burlington County; Cherry Hill, Camden County; Millville, Cumberland County; Logan, Gloucester County; Ewing, Mercer County; Mount Olive, Morris County; and Jackson, Ocean County.

In 2010, New Jersey generated 9.8 million tons of municipal solid waste, of which 3.9 million tons were recycled, for a 40 percent Municipal Solid Waste recycling rate, an increase from the 2009 rate of 37.1 percent.

In total, including all forms of waste, New Jersey recycled more than 13.3 million tons of the 22 million tons of solid waste generated in 2010. The overall recycling rate increased slightly from 56.9 in 2009 to 60.5 percent in 2010. This can partially be attributed to a nearly 1 million ton increase in recycling of various types of scrap metals as prices of those metals rose in 2010. Also, there was a marked increase in recycling of petroleum contaminated soils, plus concrete and asphalt, due to a more active construction sector.

For more information on recycling visit: or



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Last Updated: October 17, 2012