For Immediate Release – March 20, 2019
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Middletown Township today announced that it is launching a Recycling Education Campaign that will take place through Earth Day (April 22nd). The purpose of the campaign is to help residents understand what can and cannot be recycled and how to do so properly in our single stream recycling system.
When a town does not recycle properly, it increases the cost of garbage and recycling collection, which will directly impact taxpayers. “Plastic bags are a tremendous problem in our recycling stream,” stated Mayor Tony Perry. “If we don’t address the issue now it will not only prove detrimental to the environment but also drive up the cost of waste removal significantly in the future.” To learn more about plastic bags and how they can affect taxes, visit www.middletownnj.org/plasticbags.
The driving force of this campaign is to correct how we recycle as a whole in Middletown and to teach residents about the importance of keeping recyclables loose in the cart and not placing them in plastic garbage or grocery bags. “In Middletown, plastic bags are responsible for over 70% of the contamination of our single stream recycling,” explained Department of Public Works Director (DPW) Ted Maloney. “Although they have a recycling label, they cannot be processed in single stream recycling and must be dealt with separately.”
Beginning on Earth Day, April 22nd, Middletown Township will no longer be accepting recycling in plastic bags, as well as any other violation of Township rules for recycling collection. Residents will receive a sticker detailing the violation and their recycling will be picked up the following collection date if corrected. DPW will be issuing warning stickers through April 22nd to help educate residents as to what is and isn’t recyclable. Visit www.middletownnj.org/recycling to view the list of recycling violations.
As part of the effort to reduce the number of plastic bags in the recycling stream, the Middletown Department of Public Works has partnered with the ShopRite located at Hwy 35 & Harmony Road, and is now accepting clean single use plastic shopping bags at the Middletown Recycling Center (52 Kanes Lane). Many other stores in Middletown, including Stop & Shop and Target, also accept plastic bags free of charge. Collection bins are usually located near the store entrance. When recycled properly, plastic bags are valuable and can be created into products such as decking, playground equipment, and fences.
For additional information about recycling in Middletown, visit www.middletownnj.org/recycling or download the free Recycle Coach app to quickly learn how to dispose of items properly and view your personalized garbage, recycling and bulk collection schedule. You can also call the Department of Public Works at 732-615-2109.