Grants to Help Improve Municipal Recycling Programs
TOMS RIVER – Improvements will be coming to 10 municipal recycling programs thanks to the Ocean County Municipal Recycling Grant program.
"Recycling continues to make a difference in a big way here in Ocean County," said Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the county's award winning recycling program. "It's important the County continues to offer these types of incentives to the municipalities in order to keep up the interest in recycling.
"The better the recycling program the greater the interest from our citizens to participate," Lacey said.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is expected to award 10 grants totaling $137,411 to 10 municipalities.
"This program offers financial assistance to municipalities, that want to develop or improve their recycling drop-off center, purchase educational material to promote single stream recycling or purchase containers for public areas like parks, municipal complexes and schools," said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "Recycling comes with environmental and economical benefits and we encourage everyone to participate in the programs that are available."
Lacey noted that with the help of the recycling grant, Ocean Gate will be building its own recycling center for its residents.
"From simple assistance to something as big as a new recycling center, this grant is invaluable when it comes to helping improve the overall recycling effort in the County," Lacey said.
This year's grant recipients, the amount awarded and the proposed projects are: Brick Township, $22,000, motorized gate and roll-off containers; Little Egg Harbor Township, $15,875, improvements to recycling center; Ocean Gate, $37,680, establishing a municipal recycling center; Lacey Township, $7,752.50, roll-off containers and signs; Ship Bottom, $7,000, fencing; Seaside Park, $4,767, roll-off containers and signs; Long Beach Township, $ 21,105.67, improvements to recycling center and containers; Beach Haven, $11,417.96, roll-off containers and signs; Berkeley Township, $7,213, roll-off containers, education material and paving, and Tuckerton, $2,600, roll-off containers and educational material.
Lacey said the County created the recycling grant program in 2001 to assist municipalities in their efforts to maintain and upgrade local recycling centers.
Grant applications were returned to the County by April 25 and applicants were evaluated by the Grant Review Subcommittee of the Ocean County Solid Waste Advisory Council.
The maximum amount of funding for any single municipality that the County will provide for containers or educational material will not exceed $5,000 and the maximum amount for improvements to drop-off centers will not exceed $35,000. The municipality must provide a 50 percent match to the County grant.
To date, the county has distributed more than $1 million in grants.
Funding for the municipal recycling grant program comes from the State Recycling Enhancement Grant Fund, and also from the Ocean County Recycling Revenue Sharing account.
"Whether it's education or capital purchases, these grants enhance not only the municipalities' recycling program but ultimately the county's," Lacey said. "We continue to make every effort to encourage our residents to recycle. It helps to save landfill space and our municipalities save on tipping fees at the landfill. It helps protect our bays, rivers and the environment."