Freeholders commend borough on efforts to reduce waste

FREEHOLD, NJ – Highlands officials will put recycling receptacles in borough parks and playgrounds thanks to a $13,000 municipal recycling grant the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders presented to borough officials last week.

“We’re very appreciative of the grant,” Highlands Councilwoman Rebecca Kane said. “Our recycling is increasing every year. With this economy, every dollar helps.”

“We also plan on using the money to do a general upgrading of our recycling yard,” Highlands Councilman Christopher Francy added. “We know that recycling is important and we’ve been working increase recycling in town. Our tipping fees will decrease as we get a higher percentage of recycling.”

The Municipal Recycling Services Improvement Grants stem from the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which the freeholders updated in March 2009. A major emphasis of the plan was to increase recycling by making it more convenient and visible for local residents and businesses.

To help meet the goals of new Solid Waste Plan, which is more comprehensive, the freeholders included a program to pass-through some of the county’s recycling grant funds to local communities.

“The more recyclables we remove from the waste stream, the more years we will have to use the Reclamation Center,” Freeholder Director Robert D. Clifton said. “The Board felt it was important to do more to encourage recycling at all levels, and we are pleased to distribute this grant money.”

“Recycling is the best way to add years to the Reclamation Center,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, a Planning Board member. “Everyone needs to be responsible for recycling on a personal level for it to work. That is the best way for people to proactively participate in the process.”

Recycling grants can be used to upgrade local recycling centers, provide recycling containers in public places or for residential collection programs, or other worthy projects. “More than $600,000 is expected to be distributed to municipalities through this grant program,” said Lawrence Zaayenga, the county’s solid waste coordinator.

To date, $333,350 has been distributed to 13 towns to help them improve local recycling efforts.