Communities across New Jersey are getting $16.2 million to enhance waste reduction and promote recycling.

According to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette the grants, which are based on 2020 recycling performance, must be used for different recycling initiatives, including sponsoring household hazardous waste collection events, providing recycling receptacles in public places, or maintaining leaf composting operations.

“This annual grant program provides incentive for communities to strengthen their municipal recycling initiatives, encourage children and adults to keep our environment clean, and provide assistance in helping to reduce the local tax burden while also improving quality of life,” LaTourette.

Where does the money come from?

The grant program is funded through a $3 per ton surcharge on trash disposed statewide at solid waste facilities.

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The DEP returns 60% of that money to municipalities based upon how much recycling each community reports accomplishing during the calendar year, which is required under the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act.

The remaining funds are divided with 30% going to counties, 5% to colleges and universities, and 5% for administrative costs.

New Jersey was the first state in the nation to enact a recycling law in 1987.

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Plenty of garbage

For the 2020 calendar year, New Jersey generated a total of 20,997,099 tons of solid waste, which represents disposal (9,474,871 tons) and recycling (11,522,228 tons) reported by municipalities and, in limited instances, counties, according to the DEP.

Local governments receiving grants of more than $100,000 for 2020 recycling efforts are:

Bergen County:

  • Paramus - $126,835

Camden County:

  • Camden - $102,291
  • Cherry Hill - $166,073

Cumberland County:

  • Millville - $128,791
  • Vineland - $475,250

Essex County:

  • Newark - $264,896

Gloucester County:

  • Logan - $200,307

Hudson County:

  • Bayonne - $133,677
  • Jersey City - $319,944
  • North Bergen - $194,090
  • Secaucus - $189,204
  • Union City - $107,408

Mercer County:

  • Hamilton - $182,395
  • Robbinsville - $115,210

Middlesex County:

  • Cranbury - $104,954
  • East Brunswick - $121,623
  • Edison - $217,583
  • Old Bridge - $116,123
  • Perth Amboy - $105,862
  • Piscataway - $111,758
  • South Brunswick - $197,631
  • Woodbridge - $261,930

Morris County:

  • Parsippany-Troy Hills - $122,176

Ocean County:

  • Brick - $129,047
  • Lakewood - $167,897
  • Toms River -$157,645

Passaic County:

  • Clifton - $143,693
  • Passaic - $104,958
  • Paterson - $265,641
  • Wayne - $108,837

Somerset County:

  • Bridgewater - $172,767

In recent years, many counties have been forced to reduce the amount of recycling they do because China, the nation that used to handle the vast majority or recycling worldwide, has severely limited acceptable types of recyclables to so-called “clean” material that is more easily processed.

For a complete list of grants by municipality, click here.

To learn more about recycling in New Jersey, visit www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/recycling/

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