(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – Cherry Hill has been awarded two separate grants from the State of New Jersey, in recognition of its robust residential recycling program and successful Township-wide recycling efforts, Mayor Chuck Cahn announced today.
The Township will receive a $139,961 recycling tonnage grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as well as a $25,000 Bonus Grant from the DEP to enhance recycling programs in Township-owned parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities.
The tonnage grant is awarded based on the amount of recycled material municipalities collected in 2013; the $139,000 award is the 13th largest in the state, and the top award given to any municipality in the Camden-Burlington-Gloucester tri-county region.
“This is wonderful news, not just for the Township, but for our entire community, as it reflects the efforts of both Cherry Hill residents and commercial entities,” Cahn said. “We save taxpayer dollars for every ton of material that we keep out of our landfills. Being able to turn those recycled goods into revenue for Cherry Hill is a win for the Township, our residents, and, of course, our environment.”
The Bonus Grant program, new for this year, awarded $400,000 in additional grants statewide for new recycling efforts in three areas: food waste, abandoned tires, and enhanced recycling efforts in public spaces.
Both grants are funded through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act (REA), and funding comes from a $3-per-ton tax on trash taken to disposal facilities.
The goal of the tonnage grant program is to encourage towns to recycle more, with the goal of achieving a 50 percent overall recycling rate in each town. Cherry Hill’s recycling rate has consistently ranked higher than the state average.
The overall recycling rate includes single-stream curbside recycling; leaves and other yard waste; recycled wood; electronic waste, oil and tires deposited at the Department of Public Works; appliances and other “white goods”; and commercial recycling as reported by area waste haulers.
Mayor Cahn credited the Township’s Public Works complex and one-stop recycling center with encouraging recycling by making it more accessible to residents.
The facility is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and accepts a number of items that cannot be recycled via curbside collection, including electronic waste; CFL bulbs and fluorescent lamps; motor oil; rechargeable batteries; old cell phones; and plastic bags. The Township also hosts periodic recycling and paper-shredding events to offer additional recycling opportunities to residents.
“The Cherry Hill community – our residents, businesses and schools alike – is deeply committed to reducing the amount of waste we produce, and this year’s grant awards are reflective of that ongoing commitment,” Mayor Cahn said. “My hope is that we will use this momentum to expand our efforts even further. With the addition of the Bonus Grant this year, we will increase our focus on recycling in our parks and recreational facilities, to not only recycle more, but to remind residents of the importance of keeping our open spaces and public lands clean and pristine.”
Residents with questions about the Township’s recycling efforts can contact the Department of Public Works for more information at (856) 424-4422, or visit the Municipal website at www.CherryHill-NJ.com