Aberdeen council members may consider plastic film recycling program

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ABERDEEN – Township Council members in Aberdeen Township are considering a suggestion that they initiate a curbside plastic film recycling program.

Mike Beson, who works with SC Johnson, spoke to council members during a meeting on Jan. 21.

SC Johnson is a manufacturer of household consumer brands, according to its website.

Beson said the Monmouth County municipality of Bradley Beach was the first town in New Jersey to join the company’s curbside plastic film recycling program.

By participating in the program, Bradley Beach residents are able to recycle plastic bags, plastic film and plastic wrap, according to the SC Johnson website.

Beson said the recyclable materials are picked up from Bradley Beach residents once a month by employees of the borough’s Department of Public Works. He said the materials are eventually recycled into a product that is used for roofing.

He said plastic film items such as plastic grocery bags are not permitted to be included in a regular recycling program. The SC Johnson curbside program addresses that issue, he told the council members.

Beson said SC Johnson would work with Aberdeen officials to help them market the program to residents and would assist the township with some of the costs associated with the program. Residents would receive a bucket into which they could place plastic items to be recycled.

He said Matawan officials are planning to launch the curbside plastic film recycling program in March.

“In the long run, (this program) is going to lessen the amount of trash that goes into the regular garbage and keep plastic bags from blowing everywhere or not being used … SC Johnson is committed to doing this all over the country. … They have committed to help communities do this,” Beson said, adding that the program has been a success in Bradley Beach.

Councilman Arthur Hirsch said residents can recycle plastic bags in some supermarkets.

Beson said that is accurate, but he said most people do not remember to bring their old plastic bags to the supermarket. The program he is proposing offers curbside pickup of those materials.

Deputy Mayor Joseph Martucci asked how the plastic film recycling program would benefit Aberdeen.

“I think the idea is to get the plastic material out of the garbage and out of the (regular) recycling. I think that’s the benefit,” Beson said. “There’s a public good because (the materials are) going to be recycled and it will (reduce) the amount of garbage going to the (county landfill). It’s not heavy material, as you know, but it does add up.”

Mayor Fred Tagliarini said Township Manager Bryan Russell will continue the conversation with Beson. The mayor expressed concern there could be costs associated with picking up the recyclable materials from residents.

Russell said he will speak with Matawan officials to determine how that community is planning to run the program. He said he would speak with Aberdeen DPW Director Sandra Caceres to solicit her thoughts on the plastic film recycling program.