Two Towns Sort It Out: New 2023 Curbside Dual Stream Pickup to Improve Recycling Rates

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From the townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village:

Maplewood and South Orange, NJ (November 3, 2022) Exciting changes are coming to both South Orange and Maplewood’s curbside recycling programs beginning January 1st, 2023. For almost two years, elected officials, municipal staff, and Green Team and Environmental Advisory volunteers from Maplewood and South Orange have been collaborating to improve the overall cost-effectiveness and sustainability of both towns’ curbside recycling programs. The work of this groups’ meetings with a joint consultant, abundant research on what’s possible in New Jersey, and brainstorming ideas resulted in two new contracts; one for curbside pickup of the recyclables and a second specifically for marketing the collected material.

“The majority of our residents are aware of how rough the recycling markets have been the past few years and we all wanted to improve on that and try to save money at the same time,” said Maplewood Committeewoman, Nancy Adams. “We really couldn’t continue with business as usual, so we put together this group to study how we could change our local systems to improve what happens with our recyclables in the wider marketplace. We need the community’s help in making this new process work to be more efficient and effective on both costs and waste reduction.”

While the basic act of putting a recycling container out at the curb will remain familiar to all residents, changes include:

  • Alternating Weeks for Fibers and Commingled Recyclables – materials will need to be separated for two distinct pickups on alternating weeks: one pickup exclusively for cardboard and paper recyclables and the following week’s pickup for commingled plastic, glass, and metal containers.

  • New Pick-Up Schedule – Maplewood neighborhoods will be separated into zones with pickup on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday while South Orange remains the same with Thursday pickup on the West side and Friday pickup on the East side.

  • Changes to What is Recyclable – Some acceptable materials may change. Details to come.

South Orange Village Trustee, Bill Haskins, explained the advantage of the dual stream system, “When a soda bottle is thrown into the same container with paper and liquid spills out, the paper becomes useless as a recyclable product, so it goes to trash. By separating our commingled plastic and glass from paper and cardboard weekly, we will decrease the contamination of both streams and ensure that more of what is recyclable gets recycled. By sorting it out, we are more cost effective and recycle more efficiently.”

The curbside pickup and hauling contract was won by F. Basso, Jr. Rubbish Removal, and the materials marketing contract was won by Bayshore Recycling Co. The specific details of pickup days in both towns and eligible recyclable materials will be communicated to the public once they are determined. A subcommittee of the recycling committee is working on plans for a fulsome public information campaign to inform the residents. In the coming weeks, check the recycling sections of your town’s website for collection schedules, material sorting information, as well as FAQs for the new curbside process.



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