Ocean County received the Gold Award in 2005 from the Solid Waste Association of North America for having the Best Recycling Program in North America! Take advantage of the expertise shown by our local recycling coordinators and learn more about it by visiting the Ocean County Recycling Education Center at the Northern Recycling Center located on New Hampshire Avenue (off Route 70) in Lakewood Township. The county also maintains an extremely helpful website, which can answer any and all questions you may have about what can and cannot be recycled, and where to take it. Please log onto http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/SolidWaste/index.htm or call 1-800-55-RECYCLE.
Please take the time to recycle your household waste as much as possible. If we can all keep our recyclable garbage out of the landfill, we can keep any byproducts from entering the groundwater and from polluting the Barnegat Bay. It is also financially beneficial to your communities because less garbage lowers your town's tipping (of garbage) fees. Checks are issued to your town twice a year as Ocean County's way of sharing the wealth in what it receives in payment for recycled materials.
Please check your municipality's website for recycling information and pick-up schedules for your area.
Another way that Ocean County gives back to its communities is an annual minigrant program, designed to award grants to towns which wish to upgrade their recycling centers or further educate their citizens about the benefits of recycling.
Some tips to ease your way into recycling:
- Post your community's recycling schedule on your refrigerator or have the calendar handy for reference so you don't miss a pick-up.
- Keep a brown bag for mixed paper in those places that generate a lot of paper garbage. Put one by your desk, in the kitchen, in the kids' rooms (have them decorate the bag as an activity that will encourage them to remember to recycle).
- Get a nice-looking bin for mixed cans and bottles to keep in your kitchen. Make it a habit to rinse all recyclables to avoid odors.
- Get the whole family involved in recycling. Check out our short listing of ways to recycle below.
Look in the yellow pages under "Used Appliances" for businesses that will haul away old appliances for a small fee and recycle the metal or, better yet, will buy your old appliance for parts.
Send old sneakers to Nike's "Reuse-A-Shoe Program," which collects old athletic shoes of any brand and gives them new life as athletic surfaces (playgrounds, running tracks, tennis courts, etc.) To date, the program has kept more than 13 million pairs of shoes out of landfills. Long on to www.nikereuseashoe.com
Boat Shrink Wrap
Accepted by the Northern and Southern Recycling Centers.
If you have old books that you no longer need they can be donated to the International Book Project. They will send your books to people in need for all levels of students from kindergarten to graduate school. For more information go to http://www.intlbookproject.org/index.php
Books can also be donated to the Global Literacy Project. The Global Literacy Project, Inc. is a non-profit and tax-exempt organization committed to fostering community-based literacy initiatives throughout the world. There are a few guidelines for donating books which can be seen along with more information here http://www.glpinc.org/index.htm
Staples stores have collection areas for old cell phones (and toner cartridges).
Verizon Wireless HopeLine also collects old cell phones from customers of any carrier, refurbishes them, sells them, and uses the proceeds to purchase phones and air time for victims of domestic violence. Phones can be mailed in or dropped off at any Verizon Wireless store. For more information, www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
St. Joseph's Parish in Toms River holds an annual clothing giveaway in April for those in need. Clothing can be donated to the St. Josephs Parish Social Concern Committee by calling 732-349-0018, ext. 2227.
Patagonia outdoor wear is now collecting and recycling many old garments such as their worn-out Capilene Performance Baselayers, Patagonia fleece, Polartec fleece (from any maker), Patagonia cotton T-shirts, and some additional polyester and nylon products that come with a "Common Threads" tag. Drop off these used (washed) items to any Patagonia Retail Store nearest you or mail them to:
Patagonia Service Center
ATTN: Common Threads Recycling Program
8550 White Fir Street
Reno, NV 89523-8939
Donate your old computer to the National Cristina Foundation, which distributes old but working computers to people with special needs. Log on to www.cristina.org
Computers are accepted for recycling at the County's Northern and Southern Recycling Centers. This program is for computers only, no televisions or VCRs are accepted. Residents may bring computers and computer components Monday through Saturday at either Center from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm at no cost. Any businesses who have computers to recycle should contact Supreme Asset Management and Recovery in the Lakewood Industrial Park at 732-370-4100. The County accepts the following computer equipment from residents for recycling:
- Central processing units
- Expansion boards
- Keyboards and mice
- Laptop peripherals
For more information, see http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/SolidWaste/other.htm
These are not a biodegradable item, so rather than tossing them, bring them back to a dry cleaner's for reuse. While you're there, ask them if they will take back those cleaner's bags!
The Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, LBI is taking sheets, towels, and household items (609-492-9477).
Inkjet and Toner Cartridges
Free postage-paid boxes are provided by ECCO Recycles. The smaller ones are for inkjets and the larger box will hold laser cartridges. ECCO provides prepaid envelopes to mail in inkjets. Your business will receive up to $4.00 for each empty inkjet cartridge and up to $12.00 for certain laser/fax/copier cartridges. Contact Bob West at 609-654-6282 or firstname.lastname@example.org (NOTE: If you're at Ocean County College, call Mary Judge at x 2982 for a box of postage-paid bags for small cartridges.)
Give extra pieces of luggage in good to excellent condition to groups like New Jersey Mentor, an organization which provides therapeutic foster care for wards of the state, who often have to move their belongings in trash bags. (They could also use your unwanted new clothing and shoes.) Please contact Ken at Kenneth.email@example.com.
Pep Boys will take uncontaminated motor oil. They will ask to see your driver's license.
The EPA reports that 200 million gallons of used motor oil are improperly disposed of each year. Next time you change the oil, put the old stuff into a clean plastic container, then call Jiffy Lube and ask about its recycling program. Many Jiffy Lube stores will take the used oil to a recycling center, which turns it into such things as heating oil or asphalt.
Obsolete Electronic Equipment
Supreme Computer and Electronic Recycling, Inc will take all of your old Electronics including monitors, computers, printers, keyboards, fax machines, copiers, televisions, mice, scanners, DVD players, radios, and wire. They will disassemble every piece of your assets as part of their no landfill policy and recycle 100% of the materials back into the manufacturing stream. For more information visit www.supremerecycling.com
Remodeling/Home Building Supplies
Habitat for Humanity's retail stores accept donations of home-building and remodeling supplies, including paint, cabinets, lumber, shingles, and windows (good condition only, please). The items will be resold and the money used to buy supplies for a Habitat project and you'll get a tax receipt. To find a retail store near you, log on to www.habitat.org/env/restore.html or call 800-HABITAT.
Towels and Washcloths
Homeless shelters are always willing to accept old, faded towels and washcloths. Animal shelters are always in need of old towels, bath mats, etc. for their dogs and cats to snuggle up in while waiting for a new home.
Donate videos, toys, and puzzles (good condition only) to your local Ronald McDonald House. These houses welcome donations for siblings of sick children to help them pass the time while their brother or sister is undergoing long hours of treatment.
At work and at home, many of us use Tyvek envelopes. Those are the envelopes that look like paper but really are long-chain synthetic polymers, (polyethylene), made from petroleum and natural gas. Tyvek envelopes are used in many industries because it is fibrous, lightweight, tough, and water resistant. The manufacturer (Dupont) has made a commitment to collect and use envelopes nationwide to recycle them into other useful materials that provide sound alternatives to the use of wood. For more information on how you can recycle Tyvek envelopes see: http://envelopes.tyvek.com/en/science/versitile/vers_recycle.shtml
Pages from old calendars, maps, and atlases make gorgeous (FREE) wrapping paper. Use your imagination and make the wrapping of your gift as much of a gift as the item itself. If you get a beautiful card in the mail, save it and use the picture as a decoration and/or gift tag for your gift package. Slip a few dried lavender sprigs or dried grasses underneath the plain twine you use for ribbon. Paper is a very valuable resource and needs to be conserved. Get creative! Wrap your gift up in something useful like a new kitchen towel.
In addition to what is listed below, and for more ideas on how to recycle just about everything, log on to: http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3172. If you know of any other great ways to recycle, please let Mary Judge know by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can add them to this list!