def #73 04/14/10
SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING UP AND RUNNING IN OCEAN COUNTY
WITH THE installation of new machinery and upgrades complete, Ocean County can now accept recyclables in a single stream for
processing at the Ocean County Northern Recycling Center in Lakewood.
“Single stream collection means the homeowner can put all aluminum cans, plastic bottles, steel cans, newsprint, cardboard,
mixed paper, used writing paper into the same container for recycling,” said Freeholder Director James F. Lacey, in
announcing the new recycling process. “Municipalities, if they want, or private haulers can now collect recyclables all
“We are not mandating this on the county level but we would strongly suggest it based on the number of benefits that comes
with it,” said Lacey, who serves as liaison to the county’s award-winning recycling program. “There is no better or more
convenient way to recycle.”
Newly installed motors and belts were up and running earlier this week at the county’s Materials Processing Facility. The
facility will begin processing single stream recycling effective April 19.
“Now we are in the process of notifying our municipalities to let them know they can change the way they collect recyclables
and all the material can now go into one container,” Lacey said.
Even though the county processing facility will be accepting single stream recyclables beginning April 19, municipalities
will be making the change at different times. Residents will receive notification from their municipality on when the change
will be implemented on the local level.
He noted that many towns have expressed an interest in making this change.
At the county operated recycling centers in Lakewood and Stafford townships, residents using the drop off sites will notice
the bins are now painted green and can hold commingled materials. Residents will have the option of dropping off cardboard
in a separate bin or placing it with the other materials. Cardboard carries a better market price when kept separate.
Lacey noted that residents should not tie newsprint or cardboard in bundles or place recyclables in a plastic bag.
“That is no longer necessary and it can damage the newly installed equipment at the processing facility,” Lacey said.
County officials believe implementing single stream will result in better and more efficient collection of materials and
also a greater amount of materials recycled.
“The more we recycle the more we tap into the environmental and economical benefits that come with this practice,” Lacey
said. “Ocean County is the first public materials processing facility in New Jersey to make the change to single stream.”
The single stream program will provide municipalities with the opportunity to save on collection costs. For example, in
Glen Ridge, changing to single stream allowed the private hauler there to reduce collection contracts by 49 percent. In
Dade County, Florida, tonnage increased 100 percent when the change was made to single stream.
Single stream recycling is expected to increase efficiencies especially for the larger municipalities that already use
robo-trucks for trash collection. Single stream recycling can be picked up like daily trash is, and only a driver is needed
on the truck.
Since 1995, the county has distributed more than $16 million to the municipalities through its recycling revenue sharing
program. The amount returned to the towns is based on the amount of recyclables collected and brought to the county.
Even more significant, Lacey said is that since the county began operating its materials processing facility in Lakewood in
1991, more than 1,324,140 tons of materials have been processed resulting in a total savings of $95,549,942 by avoiding the
tipping fee at the landfill.
“That is a significant saving. And especially in these difficult economic times this program continues to provide
considerable economic benefits,” Lacey said. “This new collection system should increase that tonnage along with the