‘This is not by accident’

Cranbury receives state grant for recycling efforts


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Cranbury Township’s recycling efforts are being awarded grant funds from the state which is allocating a total of $16.2 million towards municipalities to aid recycling programs and the reduction of waste.

The township is one of 30 municipalities that has been awarded more than $100,000 for their recycling performance. Cranbury is receiving a grant for $109,556 for the township’s efforts with recycling.

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“I’m proud to say that Cranbury Township makes a continued effort to recycle, in our residential, business and light industrial districts, and to see our efforts translate to a grant awarding Cranbury $109,556 is just wonderful,” Mayor Eman El-Badawi said.

“Every year, the head of our Department of Public Works (DPW) keeps a tab of the tonnage of waste product recycled and a report is carefully prepared to reflect this. This takes time-consuming, dedicated bookkeeping and reporting by our DPW.”

According to the New Jersey Department of Enviornmental Protection (NJDEP), the annual grants awarded are based on 2021 recycling performance numbers for municipalities. That year is the most recent data the state has.

“Although this grant is based off 2021 numbers, if we look at the years before, Cranbury has a steady trend of increase in recycling tonnage every year,” El-Badawi said, adding that every year, through various initiatives, more and more materials are being recycled. “This is not by accident.”

“This includes collections from resident households, businesses, warehouses and stream clean ups.”

She explained that people are consuming more and therefore creating more material to recycle. El-Badawi said, “It’s a consumer habit we need to slow down.”

The grant funds specifically need to be used for different recycling initiatives. Some of those initiatives could be providing recycling receptacles or household hazardous waste collection events.

“Monies from this grant will enable Cranbury to continue its great work in the area of recycling,” El-Badawi added. “It will allow us to continue to provide our residents information on recycling as well as allow us to support the recycling team, service our vehicles and equipment.”

The annual grants are through the Recycling Enhancement Act, which reestablished a source of funding for recycling in New Jersey through a $3 per ton tax on solid waste accepted for disposal or transfer at in-state solid waste facilities.

The money collected is provided to communities based on recycling numbers of municipalities reported during the year.

“Reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste remains one of the best ways the public can protect the environment each and every day,” NJDEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said.

“These grants help our municipalities strengthen their recycling programs and educate their residents on waste reduction. I strongly encourage all residents, businesses, schools, communities and organizations to recommit to recycling to preserve precious resources, divert waste from landfills and other disposal facilities, save energy and combat climate change.”

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