Verona is implementing a program to fight recycling contamination. Township officials say this contamination, which happens when the wrong things are put out or put out the wrong way, has caused Verona to see an increase in fines because regulations on accepted recyclables have tightened significantly in recent years.
Beginning the week of November 1, a township employee will go around town and tag curbside recycling containers that have an “unacceptable” amount of contaminated materials in them with a card like the image above. Anything that is tagged will not be picked up by Verona’s recycling contractor.
According to Steve Neale, Verona’s director of administration & economic development, the township employee will check certain streets in a different quadrant of town each week on the day before the recycling collection in that area. Any tagged container will then be logged with Verona’s Department of Public Works and Department of Administration.
“Multiple violations will result in a follow-up letter explaining the proper way to recycle,” Neale says. “The goal of this program is to reprogram people’s recycling behaviors. Many residents are guilty of ‘aspirational recycling’, meaning they are trying to do the right thing but it is actually making the situation worse and costing the taxpayers money.”
Neale adds that before the tagging starts, the town will run an educational campaign to teach residents how to properly recycle, and to know what to expect with the tagging program. “We want residents to be fully aware prior to the start of the program so we can avoid any issues,” he says.
For more information on recycling you can visit www.veronanj.org/garbagecollection