If you save, resume and recycle it helps the environment and ensures a healthier community but your efforts don't go unnoticed.

If your town and county takes on the initiative, they get a big thank you from the state of New Jersey.

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The NJ DEP and Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced Tuesday that in an effort to support local government efforts who ensure residents enjoy cleaner communities, the Murphy Administration is awarding $16 million in grants to municipalities across the state to enhance waste reduction and recycling efforts.

LaTourette explains that the awards are based on local governments’ 2018 recycling performance, are awarded through the state’s Recycling Enhancement Act and are funded through a $3 per-ton surcharge on trash disposed at solid waste facilities statewide.

The DEP then allocates that money back to municipalities based on how much recycling each community reports accomplishing during a particular calendar year.

“Thirty years after becoming the first state in the nation to enact a recycling law, New Jersey remains steadfast in its commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste,” Acting Commissioner LaTourette said in a statement. “By supporting our local government partners through these grants, we can deliver waste reduction and recycling programs that enhance the quality of life for all New Jersey communities.”

In 2018, the most recent year, LaTourette said, for which data is available, municipalities and counties collected 23 total tons of solid waste, with 13.3 million tons recycled and 9.7 million tons disposed.

New Jersey does a pretty good job at recycling compared to other states as the municipal solid waste recycling rate is higher than the national recycling rate average of 34 percent but, on the other end, is also below the state’s municipal solid waste recycling goal of 50 percent.

“We are pleased to distribute grants for recycling initiatives that will educate the public about the importance of keeping our environment clean,” Mark Pedersen, Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management, said in a statement. “While New Jersey continues to be a national leader in recycling, these grants demonstrate our commitment to continually improve our recycling program.”

Here are the municipalities receiving grants of more than $100,000 for their 2018 recycling efforts.

    • Bergen County: Paramus, $190,034; Fair Lawn, $142,154
    • Burlington County: Florence, $105,695
    • Camden County: Cherry Hill, $135,871; Camden, $117,450; Gloucester Township, $107,425
    • Cumberland County: Vineland, $386,442
    • Essex County: Newark, $328,618; East Orange, $111,604
    • Gloucester County: Logan, $184,995; Mantua, $116,155
    • Hudson County: Jersey City, $319,944; Secaucus, $$161,010; Union City, $122,917; Bayonne, $109,084
    • Mercer County: Hamilton, $200,305; Robbinsville, $108,199
    • Middlesex County: Edison, $265,870; South Brunswick, $243,868; Woodbridge, $239,802; Piscataway, $125,029; Monroe, $116,211; East Brunswick, $108,966; Old Bridge, $102,639
    • Monmouth CountyMiddletown, $110,242; Wall, $106,713
    • Morris County: Parsippany-Troy Hills, $188,816
    • Ocean County: Toms River, $240,939; Lakewood, $148,992; Brick, $115,554
    • Passaic County: Paterson, $248,632; Passaic, $153,337; Clifton, $140,305; Wayne, $103,805
    • Union County: Plainfield, $107,356

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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