TOMS RIVER – It was recently announced that Ocean County will be distributing nearly $150,000 to towns throughout the county as a part of the Recycling Revenue Sharing Program.
“This is the amount of revenue we are sharing from the last six months of 2017,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the County’s recycling program.
The $150,000 revenue is from the second half of 2017. Municipalities collected 41,721 tons of recyclables during this time.
However, the County is seeing a decline in the amount of money that markets are paying for recycling materials, Little added.
Recycling was generating nearly $26 a ton seven years ago. Now, as of the second half of 2017, it is only generating approximately $3.58 per ton.
“I am pleased we can still distribute the revenue to our municipalities,” he said. “Recycling in Ocean County continues to be an important component of our solid waste management plan providing a host of environmental and economic benefits.
The County’s recycling efforts also saved municipalities approximately $3 million collectively in tipping fees throughout the second half of 2017, which is a substantial savings for the taxpayers, Little said.
Since the Recycling Revenue Sharing program began in 1995, the County has returned over $16 million to the towns, according to Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr. This amount is based on the amount of recyclables collected and brought to the County, as well as the price per item in the current market, Bartlett added.
“These prices change all the time because of supply and demand in the marketplace,” Little said. “The trend for recycling materials is however trending downward.”
“We are watching this trend closely to determine if any future adjustments will have to be made to our recycling program,” Little said.
According to Ernest Kuhlwein, Ocean County’s Director of Solid Waste Management, the markets for recyclables have taken a downward turn now that China is no longer accepting as much of the material it once had. Due to China’s reduced demand, a backlog of materials has been created.
“China was a big consumer of our paper,” Kuhlwein said. “But now, it is recycling more of its own material reducing the demand for America’s recyclable materials.
Kuhlwein added that this looks like the way of the future.
“Recycling remains a key program in Ocean County allowing us to save precious landfill space and natural resources,” Little said.
Ocean County does not charge for accepting municipal recyclables.
Towns can use the revenue sharing money whoever they need to, but many still invest it back into the recycling program.
The towns receiving recycling revenue include:
- Barnegat Township, $5,032
- Barnegat Light, $571
- Bay Head, $466
- Beach Haven, $1,972
- Beachwood, $1,623
- Berkeley Township, $7,830
- Brick Township, $16,249
- Eagleswood Township, $343
- Harvey Cedars, $537
- Island Heights, $472
- Jackson Township, $9,047
- Lacey Township, $7,004
- Lakehurst, $436
- Lakewood Township, $25,373
- Lavallette, $1,232
- Little Egg Harbor Township, $5,521
- Long Beach Township, $4,063
- Manchester Township, $5,344
- Mantoloking, $205
- Ocean Township, $1,661
- Ocean Gate, $432
- Pine Beach, $416
- Plumsted Township, $600
- Point Pleasant Beach, $1,866
- Point Pleasant Borough, $4,956
- Seaside Heights, $1,203
- Seaside Park, $1,097
- Ship Bottom, $1,378
- South Toms River, $541
- Stafford Township, $12,231
- Surf City, $1,294
- Toms River Township, $27,114
- Tuckerton, $1,239
The townships of Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Stafford, and Toms River are receiving the largest portions of recycling revenue.