In the midst of a municipal budget crunch, residents' trash is turning into Madison's treasure.
The borough announced that it will expand its collection of co-mingled containers for recycling to include all plastic containers numbered 1 through 7, effective immediately.
The numbers for these products can usually be found on the bottoms of plastic containers inside the triangular recycling symbol.
The borough will also commence yard waste pick-up on March 14.
“Effective immediately, the containers pickup will include not only glass and metal containers but also plastic containers marked 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, in addition to the formerly accepted, numbered 1 and 2 containers,” Mayor Mary-Anna Holden said.
“For years, residents have questioned why they had to dispose of yogurt cups, sour cream containers, margarine tubs, and the like, with their garbage and not with their recycling. Now, and at no additional cost to the borough, residents are encouraged to rinse out these containers and their lids and place them at the curb on their ‘co-mingled containers’ recycling day.
“Acceptable materials may be identified by the international, mobius recycling symbol (a triangle shaped by arrows) generally on the bottoms of recyclable containers,” she said. “The added containers noted above are generally #5 – polypropylene. Often take-out containers are made out of this material, too. Foam eggshell containers, and the like, are often #6 – polystyrene. ‘Other plastics,’ categorized #7, generally are larger bottles including some citrus juice and ketchup containers.
Holden said the expanded recycling is aimed at reducing the amount of solid waste garbage Madison sends to the transfer station operated by the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, which has raised tipping fees another $4 per ton.
Madison moves more than 5,000 tons of garbage to the transfer station each year, which would kick up tipping costs by $20,000.
Holden noted that the borough earns money back from Recycle America, the company that receives and markets recyclable materials.
“While this is one step toward reducing garbage costs, another initiative is the Madison Environmental Commission’s exploration of cost-effective ways to promote composting of food waste," she said.
Fior yard waste, free leaf bags will be available throughout the year at the Borough Garage, the , the Borough Clerk’s office at the and the .
Residents may continue to recycle electronics — computers, printers, etc. — at , 50 Main Street, which serves as the town’s collection point for these materials.
“We all can help save money and better our town’s environment through these small initiatives,” Mayor Holden added.