UNION COUNTY, NJ – Seniors in search of reliable, up-to-date information on recycling will be getting help this fall, thanks to a new Freeholder Board pilot project aimed at spreading the “Recycle Right!” message and educating residents about current recycling guidelines.

“Senior centers and senior living complexes act as information hubs on many topics of interest to the community at large. Through this pilot project, seniors can receive reliable, up-to-date guidance about recycling in their community. We also hope that they will convey that information to their friends, families, and neighbors,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.

The main message of “Recycle Right!” is to keep the household recycling bin free of contamination and prohibited items.  An important part of recycling is understanding what items can and can’t be recycled. 

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Plastic bags, for example, are a major source of contamination. Residents often put plastic bags full of bottles and cans into recycling bins which renders the entire bag non-recyclable. Recycling Right preserves the quality of the recycling stream and prevents contamination and damage to recycling equipment and facilities.

In October, as part of the pilot program, the Freeholder Board will partner with designated senior living complexes in several municipalities and provide “recycling bin bags” which are washable, reusable bags designed to make recycling easier and more convenient for residents.

The bags are designed to help make recycling more convenient for people who need to carry recyclables from their apartment to a centralized recycling station, without relying on disposable plastic bags.

“Keeping plastic bags out of recycling will help reduce the rejection rate, and help municipalities manage their recycling costs more efficiently,” said Freeholder Chair Kowalski.

The bags have two sets of handles. One set is located on top, as with an ordinary tote bag. The other set is located on the bottom, so the bag can be easily turned upside down and emptied into a recycling bin.

The bin bags are also printed with Recycling Do’s and Don’ts.

For more information about Recycle Coach visit ucnj.org/recycling.

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