def #78 04/22/10
OCEAN COUNTY GOES SINGLE STREAM
IT CAN’T get any easier to recycle in Ocean County. With renovations and changes complete at the Ocean County Materials
Processing Facility at the Ocean County Northern Recycling Center in Lakewood, towns can now pick up recyclables all in
“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
unveiling the new recycling process at the Northern Recycling Center. “Municipalities, if they want, or private haulers
can now collect recyclables all mixed together.
“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 officially began processing single stream recycling 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.
Lakewood has been one of the first towns in Ocean County to prepare residents for the changeover.
“The township has purchased new recycling containers and is embracing the new process,” said Lacey as he was joined with
Lakewood Deputy Mayor Menashe Miller.
Even though the county processing facility is now accepting single stream recyclables, 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.
Recyclables most recently have been placed at the curb for collection in two bins. One holds mixed papers, newspapers,
junk mail and cardboard while the other is used for all other items including glass, plastic and aluminum cans.
Lacey 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
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
savings. We are pleased to offer this new process. And, we encourage all of our municipalities to make the change.”