WEST ORANGE, NJ — Due to a shortage of employees at the depot that typically handles recycling pickup for the Township of West Orange, the township has made changes to its recycling procedures that became effective on Monday.

According to West Orange Health Officer Theresa DeNova, the employee shortage caused by the COVID-19 outbreak means that all recycling has been moved to another depot that uses the dual-stream method.

Starting this week, commingled recyclables—including glass, aluminum and plastic—will be collected together.

Sign Up for West Orange Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Paper items—including cardboard, newspaper magazines and junk mail—will be collected the following week.

Click HERE to learn more about the temporary change to the recycling schedule.

West Orange Public Information Officer Joseph Fagan reminded residents that they should not be putting used gloves and masks in with recyclables.

Council President Michelle Casalino reiterated that residents should make sure they are properly disposing of all used items, as there have been many complaints of used, potentially contaminated, gloves and masks being found in parking lots around town.

“Essential workers […] should not have to be out in the parking lot policing folks from putting your masks and your gloves in the parking lot,” she said. “I spoke with the mayor, and we have enough ordinances on the books to fine people—and we will if we see you discarding them.”

She added that residents either need to carry a bag with them or discard the gloves and masks in a nearby garbage container.

Councilman Jerry Guarino also implored residents not to flush wipes down the toilet. He noted that the township’s waste management team has discovered evidence of backup starting to build in the sewer system.

“What we don’t need right now is backup in our sanitary sewers,” said Guarino, adding that flushing wipes will result in additional health issues due to the backup.

Last week's West Orange Township Council meeting was the first one held since a State of Emergency was declared due to the pandemic. The meeting was held on online via Zoom, where individual council members and representatives of the administration appeared on screen as they spoke.

 As future council meetings will be held in this manner until further notice, residents wishing to be heard during public comment are invited to do so as "phone-in" participants.

The council meeting was recorded and can be viewed on the township website at www.westorange.org.