NEW JERSEY’S RECYCLING LEADERS HONORED TODAY
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION RECOGNIZES GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS IN ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY
(14/P113) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is honoring the state’s recycling leaders as part the 34th Annual Recycling Symposium and Awards ceremony today at Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune.
Among the honorees are a Middlesex County town that has executed an automated trash collection and single-stream recycling program, a non-profit’s program to train developmentally disabled students proper disposal of unwanted electronics and a Rutgers’ polymer engineer whose inventions have promoted plastics recycling.
Also recognized today are a group of grade-school students from across the state for their poems about recycling. The annual event is co-sponsored by the DEP and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.
“The Christie Administration is proud of these recycling leaders for their important efforts and what they do to expand recycling efforts and awareness,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “Recycling is a civic duty that gets everyone actively involved in protecting our environment and conserving our natural resources.”
In 1987, New Jersey became the first state to require recycling with the passage of the New Jersey Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act. The Christie Administration continues to develop policies to boost current recycling rates and adapt recycling strategies to match today’s lifestyles. As part of that effort, DEP requires counties to achieve recycling tonnage targets and, with the assistance of local and county partners, promotes public participation in recycling programs.
Today’s event is co-sponsored by the DEP and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.
GOVERNMENT: Township of Woodbridge
Starting in 2009, Woodbridge Township began to implement an automated trash collection and single stream recycling program for its residents. Since its implementation, Woodbridge has been able to reduce many of its expenses, particularly its landfill disposal costs and motor vehicle fleet expenses.
The township has also implemented the “Mow and Go” grass-cycling program, and uses the Route Smart program to design garbage and recycling routes that reduce travel time, save on gas, and reduce redundancies.
INSTITUTION: Green Vision Inc.
GreenVision, Inc. trains developmentally disabled students to properly de-manufacture unwanted electronics, and ultimately employ them in that field. Client workers develop problem-solving skills as they disassemble e-waste and sort components for recycling. Satellite locations of this program now exist in Essex, Morris, Bergen, Union and Atlantic Counties.
In 2013, GreenVision recycled almost 500,000 lbs. of electronics, trained 216 students, and employed 32 adults.
BUSINESS: Johnson and Johnson (New Jersey sites)
Johnson and Johnson’s New Jersey sites have partnered with SBM, its housekeeping company, as well as local waste vendors and internal green teams, to create an innovative waste management program entitled “Care to Recycle.”
SBM ultimately brought six Johnson and Johnson sites into the program by the end of 2013. Many types of waste have been diverted from the trash including compostable, 3-7 plastics, and even candy bar wrappers. The average diversion rate of these six sites was approximately 41 percent by the end of the first year of the program, with at least one site reaching close to 50 percent.
LEADERSHIP: Jim Morris
Morris, a Basking Ridge resident, has been synonymous with recycling education and training in New Jersey for almost three decades. His practical, real-world approach to quantifying and understanding the economic challenges of recycling has helped to train countless individuals, programs and organizations throughout the state and beyond.
Morris became the driving force behind the creation of a Recycling Coordinator Certification Program for recycling professionals. With over 800 people trained and nearly 650 Certified Recycling Professionals still active, the certification program, which has attracted interest from other states such as Pennsylvania and California, is a testament to his commitment to continuously refine and improve recycling education and training products available in New Jersey.
COMMISSIONER’S AWARD: George Chen
Chen has served as the President of the New Jersey Paper Recycling Organization since 2002. This organization was established to encourage and promote recycling in New Jersey. In this capacity, Chen has facilitated numerous educational seminars over the years for those in or associated with the paper recycling industry.
Chen has also shared his expertise about domestic and international paper recycling markets with business leaders and government officials at meetings of the New Jersey WasteWise Business Network. He served as president of the Paper Stock Industries from 2008-2010 and has been the Paper Division Director of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries since 2011. His efforts have helped to raise awareness about the environmental and economic importance of paper recycling in New Jersey and have contributed to the growth of New Jersey’s recycling industry overall.
COMMISSIONER’S AWARD: Dr. Thomas Nosker
Nosker, an Assistant Research Professor at Rutgers University’s School of Engineering, has invented and developed recycled plastic composites and processes that promote plastics recycling. His materials development work provides an end use application for recycled plastics.
In the late 1980s, Nosker was part of the Center for Plastics Recycling Research (CPRR) at Rutgers, which developed and patented the first recycling process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soda bottles, for which 26 licenses were issued. This same process was applicable to high density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottles and it also led to the development of the first recycled plastic lumber (RPL) for applications such as park benches and picnic tables.
Nosker’s research improved the stiffness and creep resistance of this original RPL to produce reinforced thermoplastic composite lumber (RTCL) suitable for load bearing applications. These patented materials are licensed and manufactured by companies in New Jersey and the United Kingdom to produce items such as railroad ties, marine pilings, I-beams, vehicular bridges, and railroad bridges.
2014 POETRY CONTEST WINNERS
Grade 4: William Dempsey, St. Catharine School, Spring Lake; Rileigh Leighton, Oak Knoll Elementary School, Williamstown; Sophia Abbassi, Samsel Upper Elementary School, Parlin; Hawkins Sutter, St. Paul School, Princeton.
Grade 5: Dylan Cawley, St. Joseph School, Mendham; Matthew Vizzinni, St. Joseph School, Mendham; Nicholas Parmi, Wood-Ridge Intermediate School, Wood-Ridge; Environmental Club, High Bridge Elementary School, High Bridge.
Grade 6: Meghan Haggert, South Harrison Elementary School, Harrisonville; Nancy Hannon, St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach; Max O’Shaughnessy, St. Catharine School, Spring Lake; Naomi Ruiz Otero, Bradley Beach Elementary School, Bradley Beach.