TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders will distribute almost $600,000 in recycling revenue sharing to the municipalities participating in the county's recycling program.
"An increase in the average price of some commodities like aluminum and old newspapers and an increase in the tonnage of recyclables collected has resulted in this revenue amount," said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who is liaison to the county's recycling program. "By recycling, our residents are helping the environment and their communities."
Under the Ocean County Recycling Revenue Sharing Program, municipalities are provided a portion of the recycling revenues based on the amount recycled and the market price of the material.
"Ocean County residents continue to embrace recycling at home," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "The Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management with Freeholder Little do an outstanding job in making certain recycling programs are available and easily accessible to everyone."
The $597,920 is from the second half of 2016 when municipalities collected 43,077 tons of recyclables. The payout for the period was $13.88 per ton.
During the first half of 2016, Ocean County collected 37,883 tons of recyclables with a payout of $2.57 per ton.
"Recycling in Ocean County continues to provide a host of environmental and economic benefits," Little said. "One of the greatest benefits is keeping the material out of the landfill and preserving the space there.
"As a result of these recycling efforts, municipalities collectively saved $3.2 million in the second half of 2016 by not dumping those materials in the landfill where they would have to pay a tipping fee," Little said. "That is a substantial savings."
Little noted that since Ocean County began the Recycling Revenue Sharing program in 1995, the County has returned more than $16 million to its municipalities.
The amount returned to the towns, under the revenue sharing program is based on the amount of recyclables collected and brought to the County and the price per commodity in the current market.
"These prices change all the time," Little said. "During the first half of 2017 we saw a decline in some prices. The second half came with some better numbers. It is the county's intention to be able to return money to our towns."
For instance, aluminum is up $428 to $1,223 per ton, while colored plastic is down $24 to $413 per ton and old newspapers are up $37 a ton to $121 in comparison to the same period in 2015 when the payout per ton was $6.45.
Little said towns can use the money as needed although many invest it back into the recycling program.
The largest recycling revenue sharing checks will go to Toms River, Lakewood, Brick, Stafford and Jackson townships.
"And, while these are the county's largest municipalities, I applaud all of our towns, even the smallest, for their ongoing recycling efforts," Little said.
The towns and the amounts they are scheduled to receive are: Barnegat Township, $19,738; Barnegat Light, $2,494; Bay Head, $1,791; Beach Haven, $7,398; Beachwood, $7,003; Berkeley Township, $30,685; Brick Township, $69,941; Eagleswood Township, $1,544; Harvey Cedars, $2,185; Island Heights, $1,680; Jackson Township, $36,405; Lacey Township, $30,382; Lakehurst, $1,856 and Lakewood Township, $100,802.
Also, Lavallette, $5,208; Little Egg Harbor Township, $21,676; Long Beach Township, $16,818; Manchester Township, $21,630; Mantoloking, $716; Ocean Township, $5,950; Ocean Gate, $1,598; Pine Beach, $1,632; Plumsted Township, $3,800; Point Pleasant Beach, $7,740; Point Pleasant Borough, $22,284; Seaside Heights, $4,770; Seaside Park, $4,400; Ship Bottom, $5,351; South Toms River, $2,242; Stafford Township, $44,348; Surf City, $5,006; Toms River Township, $104,244; and Tuckerton, $4,588.