At the 38th Annual Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR) Symposium, Maurice River Township Recycling Coordinator Louann Karrer was presented with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Excellence Award, an award given to the township for decreasing plastics bags within their recycling stream.
“Plastics bags have been a big issue in the recycling community,” says Loretta Pregartner, Cumberland County recycling coordinator. “At the sorting facilities plastics bags are costly and dangerous to remove; and when not handled properly plastic bags end up as litter. Here at the CCIA we are so proud of Louann and Maurice River Township residents for leading the charge in eliminating plastics bags from the recycling stream.”
To decrease plastic bags in the recycling stream, in partnership with the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA), Louann started handing out red “No Bags in Your Bin” buckets to all of her residents in September 2018. This initiative was a new way of looking at how residents transport their recyclable to their bin and eliminate the need for plastic bags. In March 2019, Maurice River Township and Earthtech, Maurice River Township’s recycling hauler, began rejecting recycling bins with plastic bags. The use of education and enforcement allowed Louann to reach all the residents and reinforce the notion to keep plastic bags out of the recycling stream.