As seen in the Mt Olive Chronicle: Article
Any questions may be forwarded to the Township of Mt Olive, specifically, the Business Administrators office or the Public Works office.
By PHIL GARBER, MANAGING EDITOR
MOUNT OLIVE TWP. Recycling has been mandatory for years but it hasn’t stopped people from accidentally or intentionally tossing aluminum cans, glass bottles and other recycled materials in with the household garbage.
Business Administrator Sean Canning and Public Works Director Tim Quinn think they have a solution to the problem that should promote more recycling while saving the town as much as $150,000.
They hope the magic bullet is a system known as “single stream” recycling. Under the system, which will go into effect after Labor Day, property owners can toss most recyclables into the same containers.
No more will they have to sort the recyclables in different containers and Canning said that should make it easier for people to recycle more. And when more recyclables are removed from the garbage, it means savings for the town.
Canning said he estimates the town will save from $97.641 to $154, `135, based on reductions on tipping fees the town pays to deposit garbage at the Morris County Transfer Station. The town pays around $89 for every ton it leaves at the transfer station.
Canning said the combined recyclables would be collected and brought to the ReCommunity processing station in Mine Hill.
He said ReCommunity will help the township publicize the new system. Township Council members Joseph Nicastro and Colleen Labow also will film YouTube informational videos.
“The rationale behind single stream recycling is to ensure that it is made as easy as possible for residents to comply with recycling,” Canning said.
Single-stream recycling has been gaining popularity in the area and across the country. As the value of recycled materials, especially paper, has dropped, the need to segregate recyclables also has become less important.
“Market conditions form experts recently have opined that the fiber market is experiencing a downturn and is forecast to for the near term foreseeable future,” Canning wrote in a report to the Township Council. “With that in mind it is even more desirous at this point to move our recycling to single stream for ease of residential recycling and compliance.”
Materials that can be mingled into single stream collections include plastics 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7; paper including office paper, junk mail, newspapers and phone books; cardboard and food boxes; aluminum and metal cans; glass bottles and jars; and magazines, cartons and aseptics.
Items that may not be included in the single stream include plastic bags, scrap metal, window panes or mirrors, ceramics or dishware, biohazardous water, unmarked plastics 3 or 6, electronic waste, paint, pesticides and oil, food or yard waster, fabrics or clothing, waxed paper or cardboard, Styrofoam, VHS/VCR tapes and plastic CD cases.
Changing to single stream recyclable collections is the second major change in the township’s collection system.
Earlier this year, new, so-called “one arm bandit” sanitation trucks went into operation. The trucks use a mechanized arm to pick up garbage containers, saving on the number of employees and cutting injuries and costly workers compensation claims.
While the benefits to single source have been shown, there have also been downsides, notably problems in the quality of recyclables after they have been co-mingled.
A 2009 report from the Container Recycling Institute said single stream collections have led to an increased level of contamination at material recovery facilities. The value of the materials has thus fallen while the amount of materials for recycling also have been reduced, the report said.
And the reductions in the value of recycled materials have caused some facilities to compensate by increasing their fees, the report said.
The report cited a study conducted in 2002 by Eureka Recycling of St. Paul, Minn., that compared five different collection methods, and found that single-stream collected 21 percent more materials.
“However, the study did not ultimately recommend a single-stream system, because the lower collection costs were outweighed by higher processing costs and lower material revenues,” the report said. “Overall, dual-stream recycling still appears to be more advantageous.”
According to the report, the single greatest loss in single-stream collections is from glass. Bottles are invariably destroyed during collection or on the tipping floor or conveyor belts.
Once broken, glass cannot be used for the highest value for new glass bottles or fiberglass, the report said.
Paper pulp also becomes much less valuable after co-mingling.
“It is estimated, however, that for paper pulpers, single-stream material has eight times the yield loss of curbside-sorted material,” the report said.
The Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) has contracts with ReCommunity to accept single stream collections.
The MUA reported that single stream recycling cuts costs because it takes only one truck to collect most recyclables, saving money in fuel, and labor.
Recycling also is easier for the homeowner who no longer has to use different bins or bundle up newspapers.
The single-stream recycling program also allows materials to be included in the recycling mix that were previously prohibited, including wet-strength cardboard used for beer, soda and frozen food boxes, polyboard cartons and boxes used for milk, juice, soup, broth, and several new types of plastics, the MUA report said.
Lastly, the report said the removal of recyclables from the trash should result in savings of 15 to 25 percent in tipping fees.