PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority commissioners assembled on Thursday for the first committee meeting of the new year.  One of the topics discussed was the recently implemented dual-stream system for collecting recyclable items, now in its second week.

The first collection of plastics and bottles occurred on Jan. 2, and according to Executive Director Eric Jackson, the process went better than expected. But he candidly stated that the Jan. 9 collection of cardboard and paper was significantly more challenging, and resulted in PMUA fielding a higher volume of resident calls.

Miscommunication to the public apparently occurred as two different notifications were distributed to households, changing the items that would be collected, and the method by which residents were to leave items curbside.  It was noted that some residents also did not receive the updated notification. 

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Paper and cardboard items are not to be placed in the blue containers, but should be flattened, bundled and tied, and left at the curb to avoid contamination from the bin.

Commissioner Robin Bright raised concerns over the financial burden to residents needing to purchase both an additional container to store paper, and twine or rope on a regular basis to bundle and secure items, and feared an overall increase in the solid waste volume.

Jackson noted that the overall goal is to deliver recyclable items that are “as clean as possible” so they are not rejected by the haulers, which would ultimately drive up costs.

Commissioner Henry Robinson pointed to Union County resources currently available to towns to help with implementing public education programs that can assist with the dissemination of information.

Per Jackson, enlisting the assistance of the city through the use of the robocall system and PSAs on PCTV, county resources, and enhanced public education and communication to the residents will be the primary focus going forward.  It was noted that the timeline to achieve the overall goals is more likely to be at least six months.

“We need to bombard our residents with good information, but it is a work in progress. It will work and will save fees” according to Commission Chair Miguel Edghill.

In new business, a resolution was passed proclaiming and memorializing the dedication and exemplary service and commitment of Malcolm R. Dunn, former PMUA Commissioner from December 2011 to January 2015. The resolution will be presented to the family at this weekend’s funeral service.

Obituary:  Malcolm Rodney Dunn