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Official: Single-Stream Recycling Paying Off So Far

The township has seen tipping fees drop over the program's first three months, the business administrator said.

The township's new single-stream recycling program has not just benefited the environment—officials say it has also saved the municipality money at the dump since it began in late 2011.

In defending the cost of a 2011 advertising campaign cited in last Saturday's Gloucester Township Patch report on billing deficiencies by the township's energy consultant, Business Administrator Tom Cardis reported during Monday night's Township Council meeting that tipping fees paid to Mount Laurel-based Republic Services will drop by more than $150,000 in the first year of the single-stream recycling program.

The township paid an average of $299,136.46 per month for garbage disposal over the three-month period December 2011 through February 2012—about $38,700 less than the average cost over the same three-month period the past two years, according to Cardis.

The township paid just more than $352,000 in tipping fees from December 2009 through February 2010, according to Cardis, and about $323,650 from December 2010 through February 2011.

Those average totals are based on a $64 per ton fee.

Single-stream recycling went into effect in most of Gloucester Township in late November.

Single-stream recycling refers to a collection system where all recyclables can be put into a single container rather than having to separate items such as paper and cardboard from items like metal and glass. The theory behind the program is it will make residents more likely to recycle through the increased ease of the process.

The township paid a total of $217,500 for a media campaign that included TV ads and mailers to promote and educate the public about the single-stream recycling program. The ads ran on several stations on Comcast Cable in September and again in November, but only after Election Day, according to Mayor David Mayer.

"What you're doing is you're drawing a correlation between the education on recycling and the savings we can expect to realize this year and in subsequent years?" Councilman Dan Hutchison asked Cardis.

"Absolutely," Cardis responded. "Again, I realize this is taxpayers' money, but the monies (for the single-stream recycling media campaign) came from the New Jersey Tonnage Grant."

When asked by Council President Glen Bianchini whether he could provide a figure on the amount of money the township can expect to receive through the state's recycling tonnage incentive program now that it's gone to single-stream collection, Cardis said he could not do so this early in the program.

Cardis indicated Monday night there may be a need for additional "education" on the recycling program—and that's something he said would benefit the township from a dollars-and-cents perspective in the long run.

"I'm sure we've got people still taking cereal boxes and putting them in the trash when they should be going in the recycling container," he said. "And those things add up."

Michael March 15, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I love the new cans and the ease of recycling, but have issue with the Township charging $75 for an additional can if you need one. The can clearly states that it is the "Property of Gloucester Township", but I need to pay $75 if I want to save the Township MORE money by recycling more? Doesn't make sense to me.
George Barker March 15, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Does the township's calculation begin to account for the trucks, cans, training and distribution of the cans into account? I agree with Michael if the cans belong to the township no charge should be assessed until a replacment has to be made. In any case more than 1 can promotes additional recycling, if you are limited to 1 you run the chance of throwing recycling in the garbage. BTW when cans were handed out and you were home asking for a second can got you one for free. Not Fair!
Life long resident March 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
What is being done, if anything, to deal with the houses that week after week, there is no bucket to be picked up? I'm sure there is a large loss of money due to the fact that not everyone is following the program.
George Barker March 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
OK Last comment I just spoke to Diane in the Township office for recycling. It's $35.00 per extra can she said the mayor reduced the cost to be more affordable.. If you want one send a check for $35.00 mark it payable to GTMUA, on notes write Recycle Cart so it isn't added to your sewer bill. Mail it to "RECYCLE CART" PO Box 216, Glendora, NJ 08029. There were no ETA for carts mentioned. Make sure your name and address are on the check and the envelope where the cart will be sent.
Schu March 15, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I'm always supporting Recycling, those cans are impossible to see at night.
julia donahue March 15, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I always "recycled" but now realize how much more are actually recycle-able items. I have only 2 people in my home, but we fill the can to the top every 2 wks. Didn't realize that cereal boxes, pasta boxes and cardboard boxes belonged with the glass and cans and junk mail. So glad that my son's world might be just a tiny drop healthier now that recycling is in the spotlight. Thanks, GT, for making this a priority--and such a convenience! Friends in other states must DRIVE their recycle items to a drop off point.

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