Recycle Coach App, Homelessness Initiative, Summer Events among Topics Discussed at First Union County Freeholders Meeting of 2019

UNION COUNTY, NJ – All 21 municipalities in the county have submitted information to a cell phone application that tells homeowners when to take out the recycling, the county’s public works director said.

Roll out of the cell phone application, the Recycle Coach app, was among the topics discussed at the Union County Freeholder Board’s meeting on Thursday, its first agenda-setting session of the year.

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Directors from various county departments fielded questions from board members about planned initiatives and funding requests, which the board anticipates voting on at its Thursday, Jan. 24, meeting.

Union County is the first county in New Jersey to have all municipalities providing recycling information through the Recycle Coach app, said Joseph Graziano, director of the Department of Engineering, Public Works and Facilities Management.

Union County first launched the app last April, county officials said, and municipalities throughout the county have added their own recycling schedules in the following months.

The free app and “provides accurate, up-to-date information on Union County’s recycling events as well as local recycling schedules in a handy, user-friendly mobile format,” the county’s website states.

Pedestrian safety

Graziano also discussed his department’s plans to install an “Illuminated Pedestrian Warning Sign” in Fanwood, at the intersection of Midway Avenue and Willow Avenue.

Traffic officers in each municipality identify unsafe areas in need of warning signs and ask the county to install such signs to protect pedestrians, Graziano said.

Sheltering homeless

Human Services Department Director Debbie-Ann Anderson discussed the county’s “Code Blue Emergency Shelter Initiative,” which provides shelter for the county’s homeless population during extreme weather conditions.

Anderson is seeking board approval to add Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, located in Elizabeth, to the list of the county’s Code Blue vendors.

County concerts

Department of Parks and Recreation Director Ron Zuber discussed with the board various planned events for the county, including summer concerts in county parks, youth programs at Galloping Hill Golf Course and other special events.

Zuber said his department is planning multiple summer concerts at both Echo Lake Park, in Mountainside, and Oak Ridge Park, in Clark. Last year’s Union County Summer Arts Festival ran from June to August.

Email reporter Roman Chiarello at