OCEAN COUNTY – Visitors to Ocean County are a vital part of the economic health. They can be a part of its environmental health as well, by recycling.
“Ocean County sees its year-round population double in the summer as we host thousands of visitors here to enjoy boating, beaches, backyard barbecues and numerous recreational activities found throughout the county,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the county’s recycling program. “While we want visitors to enjoy their time here we also ask that they be mindful of the importance of recycling while on vacation.
“Whether you are here for the day, the week or the entire summer, recycling while you are in Ocean County is just as important as it is in your own hometown,” Little said. “The county and its municipalities all offer a host of convenient recycling programs that can be accessed by summer visitors.”
More than 33,000 tons were recycled in the county last summer. That saved municipalities more than $2.3 million.
“Recycling comes with many benefits,” Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr. said. “It saves landfill space, it protects the environment and it helps out economically.”
Visitors can help their tourist destination towns by looking into local recycling rules and programs. Some towns have single-stream recycling: all recyclables go into one container at the curb. It’s important to not put recyclables in plastic bags, as those can damage equipment.
Big green igloos are placed around beaches and marinas for recycling after visits as well.
“When you are leaving an area we encourage you to deposit your recyclables in the igloo. It is much more convenient than taking them home with you or back to where you may be staying,” Little said. “The goal of our recycling program in Ocean County is to make it easy and convenient so people want to recycle.”
Recyclables can also be dropped off at recycling centers. Drop-off venues are located at the Northern Ocean County Recycling Center off New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood and at the Southern Ocean County Recycling Center off Haywood Road in Stafford Township.
“These sites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Little said. “We are also running our household hazardous waste collection program during the summer months to assist homeowners who own vacation homes in the county and need to dispose of items that cannot be tossed out in the regular trash.”
The county began recycling in 1991. More than 1.6 million tons has been processed, saving towns more than $114 million by avoiding the landfill, according to county reports.
For more information, visit co.ocean.nj.us and click on Solid Waste Management under departments or call 732-506-5047.