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Recycling Contest Still Has Borough in Top-10

Grand prize winner receives $100K.

Chatham Borough stayed in eighth place in SC Johnson Greener Choices Recycling Challenge, which ends on Dec. 31.

The borough made it to eighth place from 24th and 11th place earlier in the contest, which began in July.

Borough Councilmen Vicki Fife and Len Resto took responsibility for publicizing the competition to residents. Because the contest is based on participation rather than volume or tonnage of recycled materials, every resident who joins helps the borough get closer to winning.

Chatham Borough was chosen as the one town from New Jersey to compete against one town from all the other 50 states.

To win the competition, which has a grand prize of a $100,000 grant for a green municipal project, Chatham Borough residents must continue to register their households with Recyclebank and track their recycling online.

Recyclable materials include:

  • Aluminum containers
  • Books with hard covers. Remove the covers.
  • Brown paper bags
  • Chipboard/Paperboard
  • Corrugated Cardboard. Flatten all boxes.
  • Glass containers. Remove lids and metal rings, rinse.
  • Mixed office paper
  • Newspaper (Recycling - Single Stream - Generic)
  • Plastic #1 (PETE) bottles. Discard lids, rinse, flatten. Throw out all tubs.
  • Plastic #2 (HDPE) bottles. Discard lids, rinse, flatten. Throw out all tubs.
  • Plastic #3 (PVC) containers
  • Plastic #3 (PVC) containers. Discard lids, rinse.
  • Plastic #4 (LDPE) Food/Beverage containers. Discard lids, rinse.
  • Plastic #5 (PP) Food/Beverage containers. Discard lids, rinse.
  • Plastic #6 (PS) Styrofoam/Polystyrene. Rinse
  • Plastic #7 (OTHER) Food/Beverage containers. Rinse.
  • Polyboard/Drink boxes
  • Steel (Tin) containers. Rinse, commingle with container mix. Empty aerosol cans, metal clothes hangers are also acceptable.
  • Telephone books

Recyclebank also offers coupons and discounts on groceries, cleaning products, facial and body project and more, all awarded based on how much and how often participants recycle.

"We really want to utilize the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts as much as possible," Fife said. "We have St. Pat's [St. Patrick Church and School] on board with us now, and we're going to try to reach out to all the local churches."

How the Borough Got Involved

Patrick Russell, of Waste Management, the borough's vendor for recycling collection, recommended Chatham Borough to Recyclebank for the contest. Russell has previously told the council he was shocked by how much recycling borough residents did.

When Recyclebank asked Russell to recommend a municipality from New Jersey for the contest, Russell said to the council, "I immediately thought of Chatham."

Once the contest ends, the incentives for borough residents to recycle will continue. Through Recyclebank, residents can accumulate points which can be redeemed for products by manufacturers and stores such as Aveeno, Origins, Macy's, Bed, Bath & Beyond or with local vendors.

"But even when we told them that, people didn't care about getting the discounts," Resto said after a day at the Chatham Borough Farmers Market spreading news of the contest. "They cared about getting the points for Chatham."

The Chatham Borough Council voted to participate in Recyclebank's discount offers for a trial period of 24 months, free of charge. After that, Buck said the borough will be under no obligation to remain with Recyclebank.

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