East Amwell Recycles
RECYCLE – IT’S THE LAW
Recycling has been the law since 1988 but, since there were no enforcement provisions carried out here in East Amwell, compliance has been largely voluntary. In fact, the state requirement is that a minimum of 50% of the solid waste stream is now to be recycled; using older data, Hunterdon County has been near the lowest in the State with reported numbers just above 20%. Part of this shortfall is due to inadequate reporting and part is probably due to public apathy and/or being unaware of the requirements. However, recently, some Hunterdon municipalities with tight control of solid waste and recycling have already reached or exceeded the 50% minimum.
The county, along with East Amwell are in the process of adopting a new, more comprehensive ordinance that will require everyone [residents, farms, businesses, large and small] to recycle everything possible. The complete list of mandated recyclables will be published in a later article, but it will include what is already collected curbside and through the monthly depots plus building materials, heavy metals and hazardous materials. The major, new change will involve enforcement including fines. East Amwell has entered into an agreement with the county to share an enforcement officer who will be available to visit businesses or residents who fail to comply. However, East Amwell, along with Hunterdon County, hopes that everyone will willingly cooperate and that fines will NEVER be levied.
Businesses in East Amwell will soon be sent a questionnaire asking for their current recycling practices. Those who fail to respond or whose recycling is deficient will be offered assistance in bringing their recycling within the guidelines.
I tend to resent government intrusion into one’s private life, but when it comes to recycling, if everyone willingly cooperates, we will succeed without ANY intrusion. I hope everyone is aware of why we must recycle: landfills filling, oceans with huge floating debris fields, depleted resources, etc. But that will be the subject of a future article. By the way, recycling is generally CHEAPER than other types of disposal.
Will Harrison, East Amwell Recycling Committee, Chairman