Forget PETE or HDPE. Hello, No. 5 PP, pie plates, tin foil and juice boxes. No more sorting, no more eye strain. It’s all good, literally.
The Morris County Utilities Authority has begun single-steam recycling in several of its member towns as a roll-out of the new practice begins.
Residents in Morris Plains, Denville, Netcong, Mendham Township, Wharton, Boonton Township and Rockaway have started using the new system.
Penny Jones, recycling education specialist with the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, said other communities in the county are expected to begin their participation in the program in the coming weeks.
Freeholder Douglas Cabana, a Boonton Township resident, was thrilled the service had begin in his town. “It’s so easy. You just toss everything in one bin,” Cabana said. “This will increase our recycling rates.”
And that’s the point, said Glenn Schweizer, executive director of the utilities authority. The industry has been changing how it handles recyclables and this change for Morris County gets it into using a system that has been rolling out across New Jersey, he said.
The authority’s contracted recycling processor has converted its ReCommunity facility in Mine Hill to process recyclables as a single stream, Schweizer said. A state grant to provide incentives for recycling was reinstated in 2009.
For Morris County towns, it means getting a few thousand dollars for the effort of getting residents to recycle. Morris County also annually pays towns a portion of the cash generated by the sale of recyclable materials based in the volume of material they recycle.
In 2009, the state awarded these recycling grants: Butler, $9,828; Chatham $27,503; Chatham Township, $13,063; Jefferson, $28,137; Kinnelon, $9,508; Madison, $33,883; Montville, $41,850; Morris Township, $46,185; Morris Plains, $16,604; Morristown, $22,892; Mountain Lakes, $7,359; Parsippany, $59,638; Long Hill $9,161; Washington $7,995.
Single-stream recycling means that all bottles, cans and paper may be mixed together and placed in the same curbside recycling bin.
In addition, a number of new items are now being accepted for recycling in the communities that have contracts with the MCMUA for single-stream curbside collection of recyclables, Jones said. These include clean aluminum pie plates, trays and foil; plastic containers, which include bottles and non-bottles coded No. PETE, No. 2 HDPE, No. 4 LDPE, No. 5 PP, and No 7 OTHER; boxes used for liquids and frozen food, such as soup boxes, drink boxes and milk and juice cartons; and cardboard packaging used for soda, juice or beer typically in 6 or 12-packs. The numbers for the plastic containers are found inside the triangular recycling symbol that is stamped on the bottom of plastic containers.
"It is important to note that neither plastics coded No. 3 V or No. 6 PS nor plastic bags of any kind are to be put into the curbside recycling bin," Jones said.
Residents, she said, should continue to recycle the items they have been recycling, including aluminum cans; steel (tin) cans; glass bottles and jars; plastic bottles coded No. 1 PETE and No. 2 HDPE; newspapers, junk mail and magazines; chipboard such as boxes used for cereal and facial tissue, and cardboard boxes that have been flattened. These items may be put into the curbside recycling bin together with the newly accepted items, Jones said.
Newspapers and cardboard boxes should not be tied. If cardboard boxes are too large to fit into a curbside recycling bin, they should be flattened, folded and stacked inside one cardboard box and placed next to the recycling bin, Jones said.
More information is available on the MUA website, www.mcmua.com.