MILLTOWN, NJ - September 1 marked Milltown's return to the Middlesex County Improvement Authority's Recycling Program. The borough had been absent from the program since 2010 when Milltown decided to oversee its own recycling.

However, the MCIA announced on Monday via a news release that Milltown had returned, becoming the 15th municipality to engage in an interlocal agreement for their curbside recycling program.

“The borough and the Authority have always had a good working relationship,” said Ralph Jasionowski, Milltown’s recycling coordinator and public works director. “In the past, we’ve been pleased with the program in terms of services. For our residents and our taxpayers, this move was the most financially sound option.”

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“At the time, based on our inspectors’ surveys, Milltown was one of the best recyclers we had,” said MCIA Recycling Division Manager Ed Windas. “They consistently had more than a 70-percent participation rate on our bimonthly pick-ups.  So we couldn’t be happier to have them back.”

"In recent years, the overseas demand for recyclables has declined, affecting the stateside market, and more specifically, a diminishing revenue stream," Windas explained. "As a result, consumers around the country are seeing an uptick in hauling prices for recyclables."

“Haulers everywhere weren’t making money on the sale of material, so they had to increase prices for their collection,” Windas said.  “We’re able to retain a discounted rate because we have a pooled contract that services multiple towns.”

The MCIA was established in 1995 to help ease the burden on local landfills. In 2015, the recycling program helped more than 20,000 tons of garbage to be reused instead of being transported to landfills. The recycling division also offers a yard-recylcing program to all of Middlesex County's 25 municipalities. Yard-recycling encompasses taking 'green' materials such as grass clippings, branches, plant clippings and holiday trees to county facilities where they are ground into mulch. The program also works toward reducing the amount of refuse that winds up rotting in landfills.

Recycling pick up for Milltown residents began on Thursday, September 1. Recycling will be picked up every other Thursday through the remainder of the calendar year. According to the Milltown boro website, residents should place their recycling curbside on the Wednesday evening prior to the every other Thursday recycling pick up. Any questions regarding Milltown's charge in recycling can be answered by contacting the Milltown Department of Public Works at 732-828-2100 Ex. 136.