Borough encourages use of Recycle Coach app

Residents can get additional information on recycling guidelines

With increased time spent at home due to coronavirus distancing, Berlin Borough residents, like the rest of the country, will spend significantly more time preparing and eating meals at home.

Borough officials hope residents will utilize Recycle Coach, a state funded app that can help them find out what items can and cannot be recycled through the single stream process.

The Recycle Coach app allows residents of New Jersey to receive recycling and trash information customized to their address within a municipality. By plugging in their addresses, residents are reminded through the app of their specific trash and recycling days. They also will access a database for what can and cannot be recycled, such as pizza boxes, different types of plastic or Styrofoam.

According to John Allsebrook, superintendent of the Department of Public Works in Berlin Borough, the municipality is in the midst of a contract through Camden County for the disposal of its recyclable material, currently $5 per ton.

The contract through the county is with Republic Services, which has two, one-year extensions that would allow municipalities already in the contract to continue disposing of recyclable material for the $5 per ton fee.

Across the region, other municipalities are not so lucky. Some that may have decided years ago to address the issue of recycling by itself have been negatively impacted in terms of lost revenue, due to recycling no longer being profitable and becoming an expense.

Fortunately, Berlin has not and cannot see the $5 per ton fee increased due to the existing contract, while other municipalities may be charged rates significantly higher.

As the borough prepares for contract negotiations with the county or plans to seek an alternative way for disposal of recyclable material, Allsebrook said in a previous interview with The Sun that Berlin is hopeful levels of the contaminated recyclable material it sends to Republic Services can be decreased.

“We need to continue to educate our residents on the proper materials that Republic can accept,” he said.

The Recycle Coach app is available for download at the App Store and on Google Play.