New Jersey awards $14M in grants to encourage recycling

Local governments will share $14.3 million in grants to enhance recycling efforts in the state.

January 4, 2019

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced Jan. 2 that local governments will share $14.3 million in grants to enhance recycling efforts in the state. The funds will be allocated based on 2016 recycling performance in various communities.

The recycling tonnage grants are awarded through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act and are funded through a $3-per-ton surcharge on trash disposed at solid waste facilities statewide. The DEP then allocates that money back to municipalities based on how much recycling each community reports accomplishing during a given calendar year.

Grants are based on materials collected and recycled in a municipality or county. The grants are to be used to further improve a community’s recycling rate by funding a recycling coordinator position, sponsoring household hazardous waste collection events, providing recycling receptacles and pickup in public places, maintaining leaf composting operations, doing educational outreach about the importance of recycling or implementing curbside recycling pickup programs.

“Each of us can have a significant impact on the environment simply by recycling every day,” McCabe says. “Recycling helps keep our communities clean, generates revenue and jobs, and lessens the amount of trash going to landfills. These grants will help communities continue the important work of promoting the benefits of recycling and having a positive impact on New Jersey [citizens’] quality of life.”

For calendar year 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, New Jersey generated 9.7 million tons of municipal solid waste, with 4.26 million tons recycled and 5.4 million tons disposed. This resulted in a slight increase in the recycling rate, to 44 percent, from the year prior. New Jersey’s recycling rate exceeds the national recycling rate average of 34 percent but is below the state’s recycling goal of 50 percent.

Overall, New Jersey generated 22.6 million tons of solid waste in 2016, which includes municipal waste plus construction debris and other types of non-municipal waste. Of the total collected, 13.9 million tons were recycled and 8.7 million tons were disposed, for an overall recycling rate of 61 percent. The overall rate for 2015 was 63 percent.

“New Jersey remains a national leader in recycling more than 30 years after becoming the first state in the nation to mandate recycling on a statewide basis,” New Jersey DEP Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management Mark Pedersen says. “We are pleased to see so many communities recycling and expect that the grants will further their efforts to educate the public on the importance in keeping our environment clean. We remain committed to achieving a 50 percent municipal solid waste recycling rate in New Jersey.”

Municipalities receiving grants of more than $100,000 for 2016 recycling efforts are:

Bergen County: Paramus, $130,864; South Hackensack, $197,287
Camden County: Cherry Hill, $103,329
Cumberland County: Vineland, $282,504
Essex County: East Orange, $106,334; Newark, $232,153
Gloucester County: Logan, $109,177
Hudson County: Jersey City, $423,248; Secaucus, $156,353
Mercer County: Hamilton, $150,719
Middlesex County: Edison, $269,329; Monroe, $181,542; South Brunswick, $190,633; Woodbridge, $147,187
Monmouth County: Marlboro, $119,531
Morris County: Parsippany-Troy Hills, $161,838
Ocean County: Brick, $153,319; Lakewood, $140,559; Toms River, $183,933
Passaic County: Clifton, $127,487; Passaic City, $109,211; Paterson, $236,050; Wayne, $111,287
Somerset County: Bridgewater, $116,802

The Burlington County Occupational Training Center also received $185,637 and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority received $144,928 for their recycling efforts.

For a complete list of recycling tonnage grants by municipality, visit