Tag Archive: recycling

Gina Genovese

It was fitting that we chose Princeton as the site for an interview with independent gubernatorial candidate Gina Genovese. After all, the consolidation of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough in 2013 is a success story that is unfortunately all too…
Read more

DEP to release E-Waste recycling rules in May

Here’s the news from the Enviropolitics blog:

A significant milestone in New Jersey’s drive to require the recycling of worn out televisions, computers and computer monitors is expected to be reached in May when the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rolls out proposed regulations for the program.

New Jersey is one of more than a dozen states that now requires manufacturers of televisions and computers to provide for the recycling of these products when they are no longer useful and might otherwise end up in landfills or waste incinerators (electronic waste).

The state’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act (Chapter 130, 2008) requires every manufacturer of covered electronic products to submit plans to the DEP detailing how they plan to recycle their share of the devices.

It does seem like much of the burden will be on the manufacturers to comply. I have to question whether the manufacturers will go along as they are already raising questions and issues before the new rules get released.

Representatives of several county recycling programs expressed concerns that the manufacturers might shut down their programs once they have recycled tonnages equivalent to their market shares. At that point, they say, public programs would end up shouldering the burden and the cost of electronic recycling.

When pressed for a response as to how they might utilize existing public recycling programs in New Jersey, the manufacturer reps played their cards close to the vest.

I’ll put the DEP timeline below the fold.  Here is the current E-waste brochure put out by the DEP regarding solid and hazardous waste. Playing it close to the vest isn’t very re-assuring, but the release of the details and plan seem like a step in the right direction.

Hunterdon County is last in recycling… AGAIN

They should send Warren County a thank you for breaking up the streak:

Hunterdon County had the lowest recycling rate in New Jersey for seven of the eight years between 1999 and 2006, the last available statistical year.

And the county can thank Warren County in 2001, when Hunterdon was second worst, for not allowing it to be a clean sweep.

Just where do they stand in relation to others:

The state has a goal of recycling at least 50 percent of garbage. The statewide average in 2006, the latest statistical year, was just under 55 percent.

Hunterdon County’s rate was 35.3 percent.

Somerset County’s rate was 46 percent, while Middlesex County’s rate of 64.5 percent was tops in New Jersey.

Not even close.  Here is the complete breakdown of recycling by county.  It’s not like Hunterdon has to do it all on their own either because the state is offering financial assistance.  It’s has been short sighted on their part because other counties that have chose to push recycling realized economic benefits. Hunterdon County has 180 days to address the problem, but they’ve already gone years without much of a change.

Declining Recycling Rates; We Need Leadership.

Recycling rates have been declining in Morris County, from a peak of 64.6% in 1997 to 53.6% in 2004. The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority wants to reverse the trend and bring Morris County into compliance with state-mandated goals. I certainly agree with the goal, but I have doubts about how they plan to achieve it. The MCMUA enforcement office will inspect regular trash for recyclable materials. The inspection will take place at the transfer stations and is aimed at the haulers. Although it is illegal to put certain recyclable materials in regular trash, the solution is to make it easy for the waste generators to comply with the law, not to threaten the waste haulers. The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders will have to take the lead in finding sensible, creative ways to improve recycling rates.
In a December 29, 2006 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress that audits and evaluates the performance of the federal government, released a report entitled “Recycling: Additional Efforts Could Increase Municipal Recycling.” According to the report, the three practices cited most often by recycling professionals across the country were: (1) making recycling convenient and easy for their residents, (2) offering financial incentives for recycling, and (3) conducting public education and outreach. I support all three.
At the last Freeholders’ meeting, I urged the Freeholders to review the policy of collecting hazardous waste only in inconvenient locations and only approximately twice a year. If you participated in this waste drop-off ordeal, you understand well what I mean by inconvenience. I propose that such waste (often just an empty propane container or a can of oil-based paint) be collected at each municipal recycling center and picked up by the MUA. The minimal cost that this will entail dwarfs the cost of hazardous waste in our trash and the moral impact on law-abiding citizens so inconvenienced that they commit infractions.
I will cite one of many other examples. In my town of Randolph, grass clippings can be brought to the recycling center on the weekend only. If you mow your own lawn on Monday because the weekend is rainy, you have to store the clippings for a week. Your home/garage becomes the “recycling center.”
We have many dedicated folks, young and old, who care about quality of life in Morris County. They will gladly volunteer their time and efforts to make this place a better place to live. Provide the leadership and you will get the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to help, high school and college students through their clubs, seniors and ordinary citizens.
Don’t pass off your responsibilities to the waste haulers!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has programs that create voluntary partnerships with groups such as universities and businesses. They offer competitive grants for projects that encourage recycling. Such grants can provide the seed money for volunteer groups and organizations. Take advantage of it.
Finally, the Freeholders can encourage municipalities to share their best practices and learn from others across the country. This is called leadership. That’s why I am running for election to the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Moshe Cohen

Keeping the ‘garden’ in Garden State

There are few things I am more manic about than recycling.  In fact, I have been known to go through my friends’ broom closets and sort their trash into managable, recyclable bits.  That’s why I am thrilled to hear that state legislators like Reed Gusciora are attempting to enhance the states preexisting programs to recycle a wider range of stuff. 

  The crux of the plan is to include household appliances into the mix of recyclables along with the usual stuff like cans, bottles, cardboard and mulchable kitchen scraps.

Said Assemblyman Gusciora (D-Mercer), “Many people don’t realize their televisions, computers and even their cell phones are veritable compendiums of the periodic table.”

Philadelpha Inquirer:

The EPA considers electronic waste the fastest-growing piece of the nation’s trash stream. Specifically, it defines electronic waste as televisions and computer monitors, computers, audio equipment, VCRs and DVD players, video cameras, telephones, cellular phones, fax and copy machines, and video-game consoles.

Naturally the electronics industry is crying foul claiming that taking initiative puts them at a “competitive disadvantage.”  Or so says David Thompson, Panasonic’s corporate environmental director.

(read about the recycling plans after the flip)