BERKELEY HEIGHTSIn just one year, residents of Berkeley Heights have crossed the milestone of contributing 5,778.79 pounds of thin film plastics in Trex bins around town – almost three tons of thin film plastics that would otherwise have found their ways into landfills, waterways, and other places.  

The magnitude of this accomplishment is vast. To put this collection amount in context, compared to the 10 largest land animals, this amount of thin film plastics is approximately equal to a small- to medium-size Asian Elephant (weighing 2 – 5 tons each), more than two White Rhinoceroses (weighing up to 2 ¼ tons each), or three giraffes (weighing up to 2 tons each).  For a comparison to something more familiar, this amount of thin film plastics weighs more than two Honda Accords (which weighs approximately 2,800 pounds) or one mid-sized truck/SUV (such as the Nissan Navara, which weighs approximately 5,300 pounds).  

Berkeley Heights residents have actively been contributing their thin film plastics to Trex Bins around town that the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission (BHEC) originally rolled out to the public.  The BHEC still supervises these bins at the locations listed below, each of which local residents and organizations have now “adopted,” as follows:

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• Police Station – Township of Berkeley Heights Staff/Liza Viana and Scout Pack 268

• Library – Laurie Holsten of Remax

• Pet Supplies Plus – Dr. Patrick Smith of Smith Chiropractic

• YMCA - Berkeley Heights Historical Society

In addition to these bins, Father Andrew Prachar maintains two Trex Bins that he obtained last month and placed in Little Flower Church.

Curbside recycling pick-up no longer accepts plastic bags and other thin film plastics for two main reasons.  First, China – historically a main purchaser of U.S.-generated thin film plastics - no longer accepting thin film plastics for purchase.  Second, thin film plastics get stuck in garbage processing machines, clogging machinery and causing equipment shutdowns.  As Tiffanie Nyzio of the Giordano Companies explained and illustrated at her company’s facility in Newark, NJ, even with a Dr. Seuss-like machine that inhales thin film plastics bags as they pass by on a conveyor belt with other recycleables, some thin film plastics nevertheless still sneak by.  Nyzio indicated that her facility encounters an immense number of plastic bags on a daily basis.

As it begins its second year overseeing the Trex Bins thin film plastics program in town, the BHEC invites everyone to take a challenge:  reduce your thin film plastics intake by at least one thin film plastic bag per week.  The BHEC hopes that this challenge, combined with the continued use of the Trex Bins, will raise people’s awareness about their thin film plastics consumption and will be the next step in the process of getting people to reduce their thin film plastics consumption overall. 

For additional information regarding the Berkeley Heights Trex Bins and thin film plastics recycling program, please visit the BHEC website, at .

For additional information about the weights of cars and the top 10 largest land animals, please visit the following webistes, at: