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“The only thing that raises people’s awareness is when I talk about money,” said Adler, recycling coordinator for
“You can’t just tell a resident taxpayer to do something because I said so. You have to explain the advocacy you’re promoting and show them how it saves money.”
The money-saving message has been heeded in
Among those ordinances is one that requires carpet recycling.
How much have such measures saved the taxpayers? For the two-year period from 2010 to 2012, “between the recycling ordinances and the restructuring of our trash and recycling, we saved over $100,000,” said Adler, or about $16 for each of the approximately 6,300 year-round resident in the municipality.
The savings will likely increase with Margate’s recently inaugurated Civic Pride program, which enlists block captains who inform their neighbors about the benefits of recycling and other cost-savers, like making sure street drains are clear of debris. It costs $1,500 per day “on the low end” to send a truck out to clear a trash-clogged drain, Adler said. “We asked people to take responsibility for the drain at the corner, and we have 40 volunteers already.”
ACUA President Rick Dovey said it took “a lot of jawboning” from lawmakers and the state Department of Environmental Protection to get the Pennsylvania-based company to comply. Some other chain convenience stores still do not provide recycling bins for customers.
“The law will be in place 25 years in April, and people are still not aware that it’s mandatory,” Dovey said. “It’s not just homes but the commercial sector and institutions like schools and hospitals; but if you go to the doctor’s office or the food store or the dry cleaner, you’ll see (recycling receptacles) are not universally available.”
When towns fail to recycle, they spend more money in tipping fees, or the cost to haul away regular trash. The loss is compounded because the community also gets less money in state tonnage grants, which are based on the amount and value of a town’s recyclables. In 2009, for example,
The January summit drew representatives from the county’s barrier island communities, which share distinct waste problems related to summer tourism. But officials in mainland communities including
Aline Dix, newly elected committeewoman in
“It’s important that people realize, especially in these times, that this is a financial loss,” said Dix. “We need to decide what we’re doing to require everybody to recycle, not just each home but the big places, because they have more tonnage and can make a bigger impact more quickly if they recycle.”
Hank Kolakowski of the Linwood Public Works Department said the city inspected all the businesses in Linwood to make sure they were recycling; if not, the business owners were told to expect a visit from the ACUA.
“We did not have any recycling cans on the bike path,” Kolakowski wrote in an email. “We now have about 10 recycling containers along the length of the bike path, and the citizens are using them.”
Linwood also installed additional recycling bins at the
Commercial businesses can account for up to 75 percent of a community’s recyclables, but compliance “ebbs and flows,” said Adler. A 2006 recycling enforcement sweep resulted in a 47 percent increase in business recycling, “but they’ve fallen back into their old ways,” said Adler. “One of the greatest coups was getting Wawa to recycle.”
Dovey said Adler has clearly been deputized and authorized by the city of
“It’s an example of what can be accomplished,” he noted.
Adler called himself an “advocate for the taxpayers.”
“We’re not about comparing ourselves to those other communities, but sharing ideas and making people more efficient,” he said.
For information on recycling in