PATERSON, NJ - In a welcome show of solidarity between the two often at odds branches of local government Mayor Andre Sayegh and City Council President Martiza Davila stood shoulder to shoulder Tuesday to announce that nearly 1,000 new recycling cans will be distributed to residents across the city. 

Under the plan, made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, each of the nine members of the legislative body are expected to host their own outreach events where they will give away 75 of the blue containers.

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The remaining containers, meant to be used for residents to dispose of aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper, and cardboard, will be made available by the Department of Public Works. Each contained given away, Juan Hernandez, the city’s recycling coordinator said, will be tracked as they remain city property, even when in use by residents.

Hernandez said that the hope is for Paterson to become “the best recycling city in the state,” an effort he said, and Sayegh backed up, that means real cost savings in the city’s budget. According to Hernandez, by putting these thousand containers into use $70,000 can be saved in disposal costs, a number that will multiply as future giveaways, and increased use of proper recycling, expand further.

Also on hand was Sandy Bosque, chair of the Paterson Environmental Commission, a body that had gone largely but was revised by the Sayegh Administration. “In order to embrace an issue you have to understand it,” Bosque said, adding that education will be key, and that there are early plans to bring learning about the “do’s and don’ts of recycling into the local public schools. 

“We want a clean city, we want a clean world, we want accountability,” Davila said as the press conference ended and the leaders turned towards each other within earshot of this reporter continuing to speak of their hopes that the project will be successful in making Paterson cleaner.

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