‘Cost of getting rid of things’ continues to go up


Princeton Council approves ‘significant’ rate increase for shared services recycling contract

It’s going to cost more to recycle bottles, cans and paper, under a multi-year shared services agreement between the Mercer County Improvement Authority (MCIA) and the Municipality of Princeton.

The annual fee will increase between 7.5% and 8% over the term of the five-year contract approved by the Princeton Council in June. The contract begins Jan. 1, 2024 and ends Dec. 31, 2028.

The fee for 2024 is $591,430. It increases to $635,436 in 2025 and to $682,961 in 2026. The fee goes up to $734,007 in 2027. In the final year of the contract, the town will pay $789,454 to the MCIA for recycling collection.

Princeton Councilwoman Eve Niedergang said the rate increase is significant. The town has been experiencing rate increases with all aspects of its waste and garbage collection, she said.

“The cost of getting rid of things we don’t want anymore has just continued to go up. As a community and a nation, we have to think of better alternatives,” Niedergang said.

Recyclable material is collected every two weeks. Acceptable items include glass and metal food and beverage containers, including pet food cans, and detergent and shampoo containers, according to the MCIA.

Plastic containers marked “1” or “2” in a triangle on the bottom of the container are recyclable. Containers marked “3” through “7” are not recyclable and should be tossed in the household trash.

Polycoated beverage cartons, cereal boxes, corrugated cardboard, telephone books, softcover books, and residential mixed paper – envelopes, newspapers and magazines – are recyclable.

Pizza boxes, however, are not recyclable and should be tossed in the household trash.

The list of excluded items from recycling includes light bulbs, aluminum foil and baking pans, drinking glasses, dishes, broken window glass, ceramics and pottery. All should be put in the household trash.

Aerosol cans, clothes hangers, bandage and cookie tins, carbon and waxed paper, tissue paper, napkins, paper plates, paper towels and styrofoam are not recyclable. They should be placed in the household trash.

All recyclables must be placed in the official Mercer County recycling buckets and put out for collection on the curb before 7 a.m. on collection day. Recyclables should not be placed in plastic bags, the MICA said.