Fanwood to Implement Curbside Recycling in the Fall

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr
Jack Molenaar at conveyer belt. Credits: Tom Kranz
Tom Kranz makes a point.

FANWOOD, NJ -- The Fanwood Borough Council and Mayor Colleen Mahr announced during the regular May council meeting on Monday that the borough will begin curbside collection of household recyclables sometime after Labor Day.

The Mayor and Council believe that curbside collection serves the greatest number of people in our town in the most efficient way and that the No. priority is following the law.

As a town that prides itself on its Sustainable Jersey certification and history of 'green' behaviors, is only logical that curbside recycling be implemented since every expert we have spoken to on the subject agrees that more material will be collected and thus the benefit to our environment will be enhanced.

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Pending an ongoing review by attorneys, the borough plans to move forward on a shared services agreement with the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) to collect Fanwood’s recyclables, house to house, twice a month.

  • The PMUA will supply a 96-gallon bin to hold recyclables to every home in Fanwood at no cost to our citizens.

  • Collections would be done every other Thursday and be completed in one day by a total of three trucks, each of which is manned by three workers to ensure each bin is properly emptied and returned.

  • Residents may place all household recyclables-- bottles, glass, aluminum, cans, newspaper and small amounts of cardboard--directly into the bin without pre-sorting. This includes all household plastics (not just #1 and #2), junk mail, mixed paper and different colored glass. The PMUA asks that larger quantities of cardboard and newspapers be bailed and left at the curb next to the bin.  A list of what can and can’t be recycled will be distributed.

On Thursday, May 12, Councilmen Jack Molenaar and Tom Kranz visited the PMUA facility in Plainfield (where the trucks originate) and the company in New Brunswick, Colgate, which will actually do the sorting and processing of the recyclables. They were extremely impressed by the professionalism of those at the PMUA, which is committed to the success of the Fanwood program, and the painstaking process at Colgate of separating non-recyclables and sorting them appropriately. They were convinced that every effort is made to separate as many of these non-recyclables as possible so that the final recyclables are as clean as possible.

Pending a final review of the proposed contract, the Council is prepared to vote on implementation at its regular June meeting. Following that will be a public education program. The Fanwood Recycling Center will remain open for business until the curbside program is ready to go, which is estimated to be sometime in the fall.

The Mayor and Council plan to maintain a dialogue with Harold Clark and the Recycling Association about its possible role in the future. and remain extremely grateful to the Recycling Association, its employees and volunteers, for their patience during the deliberations over this issue. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

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