NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – JoAnn Gemeden, Bureau Chief of the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning, attended the Monday, Aug. 13 council meeting to provide a presentation of the new solid waste and recycling app that will help residents and municipalities manage their recycling and solid waste collections.

The “Recycle Coach” app is downloadable to mobile devices and it provides a personalized collection schedule, custom pick-up reminders and a search tool of “what goes where”. The app is available to all 21 Union County municipalities. The State of New Jersey has provided the program to all counties free of charge. The program is meant to ease communications with residents regarding recycling and solid waste news. For example missed garbage or recycling pick-ups can be notified via the app.

The program has detailed recycling guides for both residents and businesses. Gemeden noted that plastic bags are not accepted for curb side collection. However, many private entities have bins for plastic bags. The program has a link advising the closest location for bag collection sites. Many things are recyclable, but not just at the curbside, she said. One such item that cannot be placed at the curbside is Styrofoam. The new program will guide residents to a drop off location for Styrofoam, which cannot be mixed with regular recyclables.

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Although there are new stricter rules regarding acceptable recyclables in China, many of the local recycling rules have been in place for a long time. More effort is just put forth enforcing those rules in order to avoid contamination of the recyclable material, Gemeden explained. She noted that the less contamination there is among recyclables, the less expensive managing recyclable and garbage collection is for municipalities. The new program is an educational tool to help both residents and municipalities to carry out the correct recycling practices.

The calendar also has listings of countywide paper shredding, scrap metal recycling and hazardous waste collection events, all which can be set for reminders on individual mobile devices through the Recycle Coach app.

The Recycle Coach program is already available on the borough’s website.