Ocean County Residents Recycled Less in 2015 Than in 1995

Jul 26, 2017

As reported last week in The SandPaper, New Jersey became the first state in the Union to require residents to recycle when Gov. Tom Kean signed the Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act of 1987 into law.

Initially residents were required to recycle only glass bottles, metal cans, newspaper and leaves; the state’s original goal was to prevent 25 percent of solid municipal waste from reaching landfills. Over the years many other items, including mixed paper, white goods, motor oil, tires, auto batteries, televisions and computers, were added to the list of goods required to be recycled, so the state’s goal for recycling municipal solid waste increased to 50 percent by the early 1990s.

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, however, the state has been going backward since 1995. New Jersey residents recycled 44.51 percent of their solid wastes that year; in 2014, the last year for which DEP figures have been posted, that percentage had slipped to 41 percent. Ocean County has recorded a similar backslide. In 1995, according to DEP statistics, Ocean County recycled 35.03 percent of its municipal solid waste. In 2015, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management figures show just 31.62 percent of municipal solid waste was kept out of the landfill.

Not a single Ocean County municipality reached the magical 50 percent level in 2015. Beachwood came the closest, with a 46.24 percent rate; only four other municipalities cleared the 40 percent bar.

A couple of Southern Ocean County communities were comparatively high performers. Stafford led the way in SOC with a 43.76 percentage while Barnegat Light followed closely, recycling 42.89 percent of its solid municipal waste.

Other municipal solid waste recycling percentages for Southern Ocean County municipalities are, in alphabetical order: Barnegat, 23.02; Beach Haven, 27.19; Eagleswood, 30.97; Harvey Cedars, 36.29; Little Egg Harbor, 34.29; Long Beach Township, 11.44; Ship Bottom, 38.62; Surf City, 21.91; Tuckerton, 8.47. —R.M.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.