BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Last week, the Berkeley Heights community passed the 10,000 pounds mark for the amount of thin film plastics contributed to Trex bins around town.  

The Trex bin program, an award-winning effort that the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission (BHEC) launched back in June 2016, has gained momentum over the year-and-a-half period it has been in place. Now, with a total of 10,373.5 pounds collected to date, the BHEC is asking residents to consider the significance of this achievement.

“The incredible amount of thin film plastics collected is both a good thing and a not-so-good thing,” said Kim Diamond, BHEC member and Chair of the Trex bin program.  “We’ve collected over five tons of thin film plastics.  That’s approximately the weight of two African elephants. Yet, the amount we’ve collected as a community only represents the tip of the iceberg in terms of the total amount of thin film plastics waste that everyone in town generates.  Now that we’ve taken the first step of heightening residents’ awareness of our plastic consumption, we need to take the next step in the process by reducing our use of plastics.”

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Indeed, the Trex bin collection program has been a true community effort.  During the first year of the program, in addition to the BHEC, members of the following groups assisted with collecting the plastics from all Trex bins in town:  

  • Berkeley Heights Historical Society
  • Berkeley Heights Recreation Department
  • Berkeley Heights Rotary Club
  • Girl Scouts Tiger Unit (Girl Scouts from different troops and of all ages in Berkeley Heights)
  • Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center
  • Mountain Park Elementary School
  • Sandy Hook Promise
  • Scout Pack 268

As the Trex program entered its second year, the following businesses and groups each graciously “adopted” one of the Trex bins around town (as specified after their names below), so that they possess permanent collection responsibility for that bin:

  • Church of the Little Flower (two bins at Little Flower)
  • Laurianne Tussel-Holsten and Vincent Cirincione of RE/MAX Achievers (Library bin)
  • Master Gardeners (Pet Supplies Plus bin)
  • Smith Chiropractic (Taylor Rental bin)
  • Township of Berkeley Heights Administration (Police Station bin)
  • Berkeley Heights Township Council (Police Station bin)
  • Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (Wharton Arts bin)

The BHEC encourages all Berkeley Heights residents to use the Trex bins at the locations above to recycle their thin film plastics.  The BHEC also asks residents to try to reduce their plastics use by foregoing the use of one plastic bag each week. According to Diamond, “If everyone makes a small behavioral change in their thin film plastics consumption, over time, this will be a great collective step forward for our community.” 

For additional information about the BHEC’s Trex thin film plastics program, including a list of acceptable items for recycling and other news articles, please visit https://www.berkeleyheights.gov/379/Recycling-Thin-Film-Plastics