Separating recyclables will be a practice of the past for Burlington County residents starting next May with the implementation of streamlined recycling.
The “big blue cart,” which residents currently use for cardboard and paper, will soon be an all-purpose recycling tool.
The county boasts single-stream as convenient and a way to increase recycling
volume as well as save money. Tabernacle Township administrator Doug Cramer agrees wholeheartedly.
“We’ve always been supportive of the county’s cart program. It will only increase the tonnage that we recycle, which saves us tax dollars as well as lowers our disposal costs,” Cramer said. “Moving away from separate bins for bottles and cans will hopefully increase the number of people in the township that do recycle.”
According to the county, studies show single-stream brings with it an increase of 10 percent or more in recycling. The more people recycle, the less waste there is in landfills. Last year, recycling saved the towns more than $3.2 million in landfill tipping fees. Those cost-savings are effectively tax savings, since they improve the bottom line of municipal budgets.
Currently, the county is working to find out whether residents are in need of the signature blue cart, or a second cart to supplement the amount of recyclables put to the curb each week. Initially, the cart program did have a few detractors in Tabernacle.
“Some residents had concerns about the size of the cart, which size they would need and where they would store it. Also if the can is broken or the lid is cracked, who would take care of it, but the carts are under warranty. The concerns were addressed,” Cramer said.
The county estimates that more than 30,000 homes may need an extra cart, of differing sizes. It will take months to gather everyone’s information, order the carts, and deliver the right size carts to the right homes next spring. If residents currently have a 48-gallon, 64-gallon or 96-gallon cart, they’re asked to visit the county website to determine whether they need a second one before May. Cramer said the carts themselves are one of the program’s greatest benefits.
“The cart is lidded, which helps us in regard to litter. Trash is not blowing out of the top and the cans don’t tip over easily. It helps keep the community clean and free of litter,” Cramer said. “Also the lid keeps out rainwater, making them lighter and easier to maintain.”
The county assured residents that the program is free of charge and the frequency of service will not change. Tabernacle will still provide a drop-off center for residents that have recyclables between pickups.
Currently, major facility modifications are being made to the Robert C. Shinn Recycling Center in Westampton. Following that, new single-stream sorting equipment will be installed, according to the county.
To determine whether an extra cart is needed, residents are asked to visit www.co.burlington.nj.us/pages/pages.aspx?cid=1024#FAQS to determine their usage and if another cart is needed. The deadline for registration is Sept. 30.