A public service reminder: Please Recycle Your Paper

| 26 Comments
After learning how much revenue the borough lost due to decreased paper recycling, our family made a commitment to recycle ALL of our paper. We purchased a good, sturdy shredder and now everything - every envelope, paid bill receipt, school folder announcement, old homework paper - everything goes through it. We took the advice of an Environmental Commissioner who suggested keeping the to-be-recycled paper in a brown paper lawn and leaf bag. Each time that bag goes to the curb, it contains a couple of pounds of paper that wasn't recycled last year.

If just a few hundred families could do the same, the added revenue might help us through a tight fiscal time.

Just a thought.

26 Comments

That is just one of the small ways the school district could save money.

I teach here in town and I am appalled that paper does not get recycled here! There are paper recycling bins in the classroom and offices, but they are always contaminated by bottles, cans, and other trash. Even if I sort them myself by hand, when the custodians come by in the evenings, all the trash (paper and all) are collected into one large trash bin. I even see stack s of newspapers in regular trash. When I go outside to take a look at the paper dumpster, there are old books and newspapers in there, but very little office papers! Where are they? Probably in regular trash. I think it’s a matter of not having enough recycling bins around the school (especially for cans and bottles, so the kids put these in paper bins.), and not having enough personnel to pick up the trash separately. Think about how much paper school generates. They’re all going to the landfill!! The kids might be recycling at home, but unfortunately, the school does not provide a proper environment to recycle.

1996 was a long time ago. Didn't we have to separate the different kinds of paper back then too?

My comment on food waste was not giving anyone an "excuse". The contract that we signed with Garden State Paper in 1995/6 had it as a requirement. I encourage all to recycle every and any thing they can within the parameters set forth by DPW. They don't just make up the rules, we sell the products to buyers with requirements. If the buyer determines a load does not meet their "bad" allowance, usually 2%, they can deny payment for the whole load. That's not good either.

That makes three of us HOBO families--we recycle EVERYTHING! Every box, every envelope, every package, every sheet of paper . . . every can, jar, container . . . anything they'll take!

sure can, and doing a great job! As usual!

Thanks Guys

plows are out and paper is being picked up too...they can multi task

http://www.recyclebank.com/
A friend of mine in South Jersey uses this program in her town.

And this morning DPW is picking up paper instead of plowing the streets to get rid of the snow.

Yeah, that makes sense.

For the person who wrote this:

"We recycle so much paper/cardboard every two weeks we look like the town hobo family. I wish we had pickup every week"

don't worry, we're right there with ya! HOBOS UNITE!!!

If you're in the Southeast, paper pickup is TOMORROW!

Thank you Metuchen Matters for posting the link to the recycling schedule so prominently and conveniently on the site. I can never find my copy when I need it, so I have to look out the window to see what my neighbors have out!

Anything made of any color paper is acceptable.

The borough mailer talks about paper and gives examples in three different places. Maybe they should consolidate it into one place.

Here are the categories they include: office paper, junk mail, magazines, newspaper, inserts (for those of your who still get the newspaper, inserts are the glossy ads, which in the early days of recycling we used to have to separate from the newspaper), chipboard boxes (such as cereal boxes and shoe boxes), all types of corrugated cardboard, waste paper, telephone books, gift wrap. Hardcovers must be removed from books.

They don't say anything about the paper having to be pristine.

A light coating of food should not be a problem. Don't give people excuses for not recycling. People have told me they don't recycle their pizza boxes because they have cheese on them. I just peel the cheese off.

If you have seen the show that demonstrates how paper is recycled (Discovery channel maybe?) you would see that a few cake crumbs or a grease stain on your pizza box is nothing compared to the debris (mainly a lot of staples) that they skim off from the pulp during the process.

You can bring your paper to the recycling center in between pickups if you want. Then you don't have to bother keeping track of when the pickups are.

You can and should recycle every scrap of paper you generate. With today's simple regulation, compared to the way it was years ago, you can put out anything that is paper. We pull the plastic from inside cereal boxes so they can be recycled, Corrugated, newsprint, any kind of box, mail, circulars, even napkins and plates if they're relatively clean. If its made of paper, it can be recycled!

Shredding is questionable, except for sensitive documents, because it adds so much bulk to items that are usually flat.

DPW has enough trouble getting paper into the back of the truck without it falling or blowing around. Use the automated truck on a windy day, and your street will look like a ticket tpae parade.
BTW, paper is a heavy commodity, its made from trees! (ever carry a 12" diameter log?) Give the DPW guys a break and flatten your boxes and consolidate into one or two boxes.

We recycle so much paper/cardboard every two weeks we look like the town hobo family. I wish we had pickup every week.

Just a thought regarding containers -- we keep a cardboard box right inside the garage -- and ALL paper goes there -- newspapers, junk mail, cereal boxes, etc. when it's cardboard day -- it all goes to the curb. then there's no container to carry back to the house.

My info is a little old Teri but when we instituted the paper recycling program construction paper was fine. The only kind of paper that is not OK would be paper or cardboard with food waste on it. Again my memory fades and it's been over 10 years since I was recycling coordinator but I believe that paper makes up 40% of the waste stream. It is a HUGE untapped resource.

On the question from someone regarding enforcement, it really comes down to personnel. The town has not had a full time Recycling Coordinator since I left the post in 1997. Their people power back then was somewhere around 30 if I recall and it is now in the very low 20s. When I originally proposed the automated garbage trucks, it was suggested that we get the robot arms with scales in the "hands" and charge people for their usage. It was technology that had been shown to me by the previous Supt. of PW, Bob Yunker. The concept is that if you have to pay per pound, you'll do everything in you can to lower your costs by recycling. Since it is all lumped into your tax bill now, it is too distant from your pocketbook. There are of course a couple of downside to this kind of program though. The first thing would be "cheaters" who put their trash in their neighbors can in the middle of the night. Also, if we remove garbage from your tax bill, I think you lose some Federal Tax deductions. I haven't looked into it in YEARS but would be willing to do some research as I have time. Maybe there are some new ideas out there since I got out of the business.

The idea of getting the automated containers for paper was mentioned at the 11/17 Council meeting. The presenters were from the Environmental Commission. I will check with Councilman Waldron to see if anyone followed up with DPW.

As a former employee there I can think of a couple of reasons why it logistically might not work but it sure can't hurt to ask. It's not just about getting the containers but the trucks too. We have a limited fleet that is a mix of regular and automated trucks. Certain days we use some of the automated trucks and some of the days we use the regular kind. This allows for maintenance and juggling of staff to handle all of the tasks of DPW. Let's hope it's as simple as just getting more containers.

Can the town send out the same type of containers that is used for bottles? Seems there are quite a few of those containers at the recycling center just sitting there.

Save yourself some time. You only have to shred things with sensitive info--like old credit card statements, old bills, ANYTHING with a signature or social security numbers.

I leave a bag under my kitchen table and that's where I look at my mail. Touch it once and it's either useful or garbage. Catalogs, flyers, paper and envelopes all go into the paper recycling.

Rock on, Teri! And all of you good recyclers!

Yeah, that's right. I don't do construction paper (although maybe someone will chime in and tell me that's okay too). But all of your junk mail - shredded to be safe.

I want to be sure I am understanding this correctly. Are you saying that in addition to putting newspapers in one of the blue containers on the curb, I can also shred other "sensitive" papers, put them in a brown leaf bag and they will be collected also?

Why doesn't the town do anything about the folks who don't recycle. Very disheartening to be doing the right thing, then see that your neighbor doesn't care and just dumps all their recycleables right into the garbage.

Maybe an anonymous tip line? And then some enforcement?


Don't forget about your cardboard and chipboard boxes. All cereal boxes, pasta boxes, tissue boxes, frozen food boxes, whatever boxes, as well as empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls are also included in mixed paper. Every little bit helps.

Great thoughts Teri! I would encourage all families to consider trying this too. I would also like people to keep in mind that not only will this help raise our revenues but it will ALSO reduce our costs. Every pound of paper that we're able to sell is one less pound of paper that we have to pay for at the landfill. Thanks!

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  • Anonymous: That is just one of the small ways the school read more
  • Anonymous: I teach here in town and I am appalled that read more
  • Anonymous: 1996 was a long time ago. Didn't we have to read more
  • Justin Manley: My comment on food waste was not giving anyone an read more
  • Anonymous: That makes three of us HOBO families--we recycle EVERYTHING! Every read more
  • Anonymous: sure can, and doing a great job! As usual! Thanks read more
  • Anonymous: plows are out and paper is being picked up too...they read more
  • Anonymous: http://www.recyclebank.com/ A friend of mine in South Jersey uses this read more
  • Anonymous: And this morning DPW is picking up paper instead of read more
  • Tyreen Reuter: For the person who wrote this: "We recycle so much read more

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