BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar and Lake Como this year will receive comparable state recycling grants for each municipality’s recycling efforts in 2016.

While Belmar will be awarded $4,446 and Lake Como $4,361, both amounts are in contrast to what each community received last year — Belmar’s grant tumbling 51 percent from its $9,163 award in 2018 and Lake Como’s grant climbing 204 percent from its $1,435 award for the previous year.

The total of $8,800 awarded to both communities was a slice of the more than $14.3 million in recycling tonnage grants that will be shared by local governments in 2019, according to the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which recently announced the grant awards.

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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. DEP then allocates that money back to municipalities based on materials collected and recycled in a municipality during a particular calendar year.

Although Belmar’s grant amount was slashed in half, it registered an increase in recyclables collected — from 9,248 tons in 2015 to 10,193 in in 2016. On the other hand, Lake Como experienced a dramatic increase, recycling 1,335 tons in 2015, compared to 6,653 in 2016.

There were 24 municipalities throughout the state receiving 2019 grants of more than $100,000, with Marlboro being the only community in Monmouth County, which was awarded $119,500.

The grants are to be used to further improve a community's recycling rate either 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.

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.

The first state to mandate recycling more than 30 years ago, New Jersey in 2016 generated 22.6 million tons of solid waste overall, which includes municipal waste, as well as construction debris and other types of nonmunicipal 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.

For a complete list of recycling tonnage grants by municipality, click here.

To learn more about recycling in New Jersey, visit the DEP’s Recycling information website at www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/recycling/.

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