Freehold Township earns grant as reward for recycling efforts


By Christine Barcia

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — The municipality’s recycling efforts have been rewarded.

Freehold Township has received a grant of $100,741 from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The award is in recognition of the township’s 2013 recycling performance and ranks as one of the highest payouts in the state.

The township earned the grant through better residential and commercial participation in recycling, Public Works Superintendent Scott Higgins said.

“Each year participation is different. With our recycling inspection program, we stay right on top of the businesses and haulers to get more accurate information to increase our (recycling) tonnage grant numbers,” he said.

Plans are in the works to use the grant money to make some upgrades to the recycling center on Jackson Mills Road.

“The upgrades would include replacing our kiosk, asphalt repairs to the center and replacing some aging containers,” Higgins said. “Other upgrades include adding an open carriage-style pole barn to house a recycling tire container and recycled oil igloo.

“The grant money is also used for the repair of vehicles and equipment specifically assigned to the recycling center, such as our inline grinder that is used to make mulch from the brush we collect during our brush collection in the spring and brush that is dropped off by residents to the recycling center,” he said.

The DEP is “very specific as to what can be purchased with the grant money,” Higgins explained.

Overall, New Jersey’s municipal governments will receive more than $14.3 million in state recycling grants to help implement and enhance local recycling efforts, according to a DEP press release.

All grant awards throughout the state are based on 2013 recycling performance and are being provided through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act.

“Recycling is a truly hands-on way for residents, businesses and schools to make a difference in protecting our environment,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in the release. “Recycling not only conserves resources, it conserves energy, saves money for our local governments, and creates jobs and economic development. I am proud to see the commitment to recycling demonstrated in New Jersey, which has long been the national leader in recycling efforts.”

The recycling grant program is funded by a $3 per ton surcharge on trash that is disposed of at solid waste facilities across the state. The distribution of grants this year is based on the recycling success local governments demonstrated in 2013, the DEP said.

Each award is based on materials collected and recycled and the money can be used in various ways to improve recycling results, such as producing educational materials and paying salaries for recycling coordinators, according to the DEP.