Hunterdon County Planning Board Hosts Virtual “Breakfast Talk”
About Recycling Rules And Proper Disposal Methods
The Hunterdon County Planning Board held a virtual “Breakfast Talk” about Recycling for local municipal officials, discussing upcoming changes and proper disposal, and shared a video of the recycling process at a local recycling plant, Hunterdon County Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren reported at the October 5th Board meeting.
Commissioner Van Doren, a County Planning Board member, said, “Listening to staff who work at the Transfer Station discussing the importance of proper disposal of recyclable items, and how unique items can be recycled, was encouraging.
What stood out is that county staff care about what is being done and take precautions to make sure nothing harms the environment or residents. The Planning Board’s breakfast talks for municipal officials are held several times a year, are well received, and always offer valuable information.”
Waste Management staff discussed the value of educating residents about proper recycling habits. This has become a top priority due to the increase in at-home shopping, which means more packaging materials used for shipping, and also, the growth of take-out food orders, which depends on single-use plastics.
During the virtual session County staff also explained where community waste goes and how items that cannot be easily disposed of or recycled, causes disruptions for everyone involved in the process.
Hunterdon County Solid Waste Division Head, Rebecca Lunger, spoke about how to properly dispose of plastic bottles, how the county works with Waste Management to increase overall recycling efforts and that the most important part of recycling is not to mix trash in with anything going to the recycling plant.
“Residents can help us with recycling by following the posted rules and rinsing their recyclable materials. Reducing the amount of waste that is dumped at the Transfer Station, which isn’t recycling, helps to cut down costs for the county.
Every time someone brings waste to the Station that isn’t recyclable, staff has to sort through the bags or materials, increasing labor costs, and then the county must pay for the disposal of that trash.
Also, plastic bags are not recyclable. This is a constant issue at the Transfer Station. Residents should feel free to bring their recyclables to the Station in a plastic bag, but then bring that bag back home and reuse it for the next trip,” Ms. Lunger told those participating in the session.
Jennifer O’Sullivan, a Hunterdon County Public Health Investigator, introduced information on the new rules for plastics coming next year which will eliminate plastic bag usage in New Jersey, paper bags at small grocery stores and how the state is eliminating Styrofoam packaging from all businesses that serve food to consumers.
Commissioner Van Doren, during his report, continued, “It was interesting to watch the video at a local recycling plant and see the process. The video shows how one bag, or several items that aren’t recyclable, can break the machines or cause issues for workers.”
There have been several recent upgrades at the Transfer Station including improved signage to assist residents with recycling. Containers are clearly labeled for different recycling items and materials that cannot be recycled are also listed at the Station.
The Transfer Station and Recycling Depot at Petticoat Lane in Clinton Township is open for residents Monday through Friday, 7 am until 4:30 pm and on Saturdays, from 7:30 am until 1 pm. The facility is closed Sundays and holidays.
Bulk waste drop-off is available for residents at the Transfer Station, for a fee, on Saturdays from 10:30 am until 1 pm.
The County will hold a Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Day on December 11th at the Route 12 complex from 9 am until 1 pm.
Recycling rules, information and what items can be recycled at the Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Collection events, and the Transfer Station, are available on the county’s Solid Waste and Recycling Services website, here .
Residents may also call with any questions, Monday through Friday, 8 to 4:30 pm, 908-788-1351, to speak with a Solid Waste and Recycling staff person.