Story submitted by the City of Vineland
VINELAND, NJ – In January of 2019, the City of Vineland introduced new 96-gallon Trash and Recycling carts, and since that time residents have responded by dramatically increasing the amount of materials being recycled. During the January – April period, the amount of recycled material has increased by an average of 63.5 tons per month. Not only is this good for the environment, but it is also saving Vineland money in avoided disposal costs.
According to Vineland officials, the increase is even more impressive when you consider that Cumberland County also began accepting only #1 and #2 plastics in January as part of the single-stream recycling program that includes aluminum, glass, steel, paper, cardboard, and cartons.
“We are really pleased with the results so far,” Sharon Flaim, assistant director of Solid Waste Management said. “There was some initial confusion when the carts were rolled out, but as public education efforts have continued residents are responding positively. The new carts have created excitement, and possibly even some new participants, with the larger containers on wheels making it easier to recycle more material. We also listened to community feedback and have made smaller 64-gallon versions available to seniors and the disabled.”
The increase in recycling participation has resulted in a corresponding decrease in the amount of material entering the county landfill by approximately 20%, saving the City up to $4,500 a month in tipping fees. Because the new carts also have lids, which the old recycling containers did not, there has been a visible impact in the amount of wind-blown trash on City streets. This helps keep storm drains clear and reduces flooding during heavy rains.
“We want to do whatever we can to make recycling easy and cost-effective for residents in the City of Vineland,” Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci said. “We know that increasing recycling rates conserves natural resources, helps protect ecosystems and wildlife, and saves money for Vineland taxpayers. Additionally, because the trash and recyclables are now being collected with Compressed Natural Gas trucks, we have also lowered our carbon footprint. Great job by everyone, but let’s keep working to do even better.”
One way residents can help is to make sure they rinse out containers thoroughly before recycling them, and to please keep plastic bags out of their Recycling cart. Plastic bags are one of the most problematic materials for recycling facilities as they get tangled up and jam the machinery costing time and money. Additionally, putting the wrong items in your recycling cart can compromise an entire load and result in materials being landfilled instead.
“All Vineland residents can be proud of the increase we are seeing because an effective recycling program is truly a community-wide effort. Recycling remains a key component of our efforts to be good environmental stewards as we work towards a cleaner and greener future,” Flaim concluded.
For more information about recycling and Clean Communities programs in the City of Vineland, please call the Division of Solid Waste Management, Recycling, and Clean Communities at 856-794-4089, or visit our web site at vinelandcity.org/waste-management
Vineland residents with trash or recycling collection service questions, including missed pick-ups, can call an Atlantic County Utilities Authority Customer Service representative at 609-272-6950, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Live support is also available through the ACUA website at acua.com.