Time to get greener

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:09

    Wantage encourages more home and businesses recycling, By Tom Hoffman Wantage — In 2006, New Jersey set an ambitious goal for all municipalities to recycle 50 percent of their solid waste. With its own recycling rate at just 30 percent, Wantage Township is making a push to encourage businesses and residents to recycle even more. Here’s how: By promoting recycling in the township newsletters, municipal calendar and on the Web site: wantagetwp.com. By asking local recycling haulers to help get the word out, too. By looking into working with RecycleBank, a company that offers incentive programs and redeemable rewards points for participating residents based on the amount of materials they recycle. According to the company’s Web site, residential recycling containers are marked with an identification tag that is scanned by the solid waste hauler during a pickup. The amount of material that’s recycled is converted into redeemable points which residents can use to order rewards through business partners such as CVS, Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rite Aid and Bed Bath & Beyond. Township officials have asked RecycleBank to conduct a review of the Wantage area and contact area haulers to see if they would be able to set up a local program, according to Jim Doherty, the township’s Administrator and Clerk. “It is a shot in the dark to see if RecycleBank will work in Wantage,” said Doherty. Because the township has a subscription service option for recyclable collection, area haulers would have to agree to participate in the program. “But it’s worth the effort to try.” The township is also working with area businesses to encourage them to increase their reporting of recycling tonnage, said Doherty. How does Wantage compare? Reenee Casapulla, District Recycling Coordinator at the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) in Lafayette, said 2006 was the most recent year that New Jersey released recycling rates for municipalities and counties. That year, Wantage Township recycled 30 percent of its Class A recyclable materials, including plastics, glass, metals and paper. The countywide recycling rate for 2006 stood at just 26.8 percent, she said.