- New Jersey will award more than $14.3 million in recycling grants through its Recycling Enhancement Act, with money allocated based on each city’s 2013 recycling performance, according to Gov. Chris Christie’s office.
- Among programs that received high awards are Vineland ($255,217), Brick Township ($280,093) and Toms River ($174,524).
- The grant money was generated through a $3 per ton surcharge on trash received at New Jersey’s solid waste facilities.
New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has strongly supported the state’s recycling programs for years, helping to meet the state’s 60% recycling goal. In addition to the grants, the government has supported a $253 million tax break for development of a massive recycling complex in Camden.
"Recycling not only conserves resources, it conserves energy, saves money for our local governments, and creates jobs and economic development," DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said, touting New Jersey as a long-time "national leader in recycling efforts."
The culture is reflected in the numbers. In 2013, the state recycled more than half of its waste – 12 million tons from a total of 21 million tons that was generated.
Middlesex County, the state’s top recycler, repurposed 71% of its waste that year.
"The recycling culture ... has become a daily habit in most of our homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other institutions," said Mark Pedersen, DEP assistant commissioner for Site Remediation and Solid Waste Management. "Every time we pitch a bottle or can in the recycling bucket, we are pitching in to protect our environment."