January 2019 Update
Both Princeton and Lawrence Townships have been leaders in the curbside organic waste movement. Subsidized by a $20K grant Princeton instituted the first curbside organic waste collection program in NJ in 2011. Lawrence Twp.attempted to follow suit in 2014 and has been struggling to get enough residents to participate to make the program feasible. However the programs have been bedeviled with problems, most recently, a significant increase in the cost for (voluntary) participation in the program. The Lawrence Twp. website states that the current monthly cost is now over $38 per residence.
Princeton has also faced significant challenges with their collection program recently and temporarily suspended the program as of the end of January while they re-evaluate the program. In a letter to program participants Mayor Liz Lempert stated that:
“participants experienced service disruptions as our solid waste contractor consistently failed to make timely required pickups. They also failed to secure a proper home for the food waste, sending it at times to a local incinerator.” In addition, the “food waste stream contained unacceptable levels of contamination from time to time. In those instances, the farm rejected our food waste and it ended up in a landfill.”
Still strongly committed and faced with the significant increase in collection fees as Lawrence, Princeton will work to re-invent the program. Sustainable Princeton offered the following food waste reduction suggestions for program enthusiasts in their post “Got the Curbside Compost Blues?”, promoting a combination of source reduction, feeding the hungry, feeding animals, and backyard composting.
Curbside organic waste collection remains a laudable goal, but the viability (cost) of the program is the challenge that must still be overcome. Stay tuned for further updates.
MCIA: materials accepted
The Mercer County Improvement Authority operates a curbside recycling program for residents and small businesses in the following municipalities:
- Hopewell Borough
- Township of Hopewell
- Township of Lawrence
- Borough of Pennington
- City of Trenton
- Township of West Windsor
Recycling in East Windsor, Hightstown & Robbinsville is under the jurisdiction of the municipality.
For information regarding recycling in these towns, please contact them directly by clicking on the following links: Mercer County Public Works Directors and Mercer County Recycling Coordinators.
Residents of multi-family complexes, including condominiums and townhouses should contact the management office for information on recycling.
24 Hours/day 7 Days/week
80 Hamilton Avenue, 2nd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08611Hours: 8:30-4:30 M-F
|Director of Environmental Programs
Daniel G. Napoleon
Tel. 609-278-8086Fax 609-695-1452