After visiting TerraCycle, a Trenton-based recycling operation, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and ranking Republican Environment Committeeman Christopher “Kip” Bateman introduced a resolution urging a statewide effort to keep out of landfills hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials.
In a courtyard of TerraCycle’s Trenton offices, Tom Kean and Kip Bateman learn how just about everything people use can be recycled, like the car to their right and juice box pouches that were converted into outdoor furniture.
“We thank TerraCycle for hosting us today and for being a wonderfully innovative asset for New Jersey’s environment,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “It shows there are local recycling programs that state facilities, parks, libraries, museums, beaches, destinations and rest stops, as well as county governments, local governments, schools and businesses can implement to greatly reduce environmental impacts. Many of them are cost-free and will take just about any nonperishable piece of waste.”
“Before such programs, e-waste and items like used snack bags, cigarette butts, coffee pods and shoes were never considered to be recyclable,” said Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon). “We are encouraging all New Jersey entities to use programs like this, because just about everything we use can and should be recycled. There is no more excuse to continue amassing these hazardous materials in landfills.”
“TerraCycle is proud that we in part inspired this important resolution,” said the company’s founder and CEO, Tom Szaky. “The State of New Jersey, and the nation at large, requires more recycling initiatives and legislation to reduce the tragic amount of materials going to landfills. This resolution is an important step in bringing together government, corporations and consumers to pursue this essential goal.”
Americans generated more than 3.4 million tons of electronic waste in 2012, recycling just 29% — that’s more than 142,000 computers and 416,000 mobile devices per day, according to the EPA’s most-recent available statistics. That same year, New Jerseyans only recycled about half of the more than 20 million tons of solid waste that they generated, contributing to the growing threat of land and air pollution plaguing this state today.
More than 32 percent of municipal waste in New Jersey comes from packaging, as many facilities do not have the infrastructure to recycle unidentified, blended plastic bags such as common snack, chips and sandwich bags we pack for lunch every day, according to the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.
Senators Kean and Bateman concluded: “The Senate Republican caucus looks forward to the support of our colleagues as we push this statewide effort to make New Jersey a cleaner, greener place to live.”