Ocean County received the Gold Award in 2005 from the Solid Waste Association of North America for having the Best Recycling Program in North America! Take advantage of the expertise shown by our local recycling coordinators and learn more about it by visiting the Ocean County Recycling Education Center at the Northern Recycling Center located on New Hampshire Avenue (off Route 70) in Lakewood Township. The county also maintains an extremely helpful website, which can answer any and all questions you may have about what can and cannot be recycled, and where to take it. Learn more at Ocean County Solid Waste Management website or call 1-800-55-RECYCLE.
Please take the time to recycle your household waste as much as possible. If we can all keep our recyclable garbage out of the landfill, we can keep any byproducts from entering the groundwater and from polluting the Barnegat Bay. It is also financially beneficial to your communities – less garbage lowers your town’s tipping (of garbage) fees. Checks are issued to your town twice a year as Ocean County’s way of sharing the wealth in what it receives in payment for recycled materials.
Please check your municipality’s website for recycling information and pick-up schedules for your area.
Another way that Ocean County gives back to its communities is an annual minigrant program, designed to award grants to towns which wish to upgrade their recycling centers or further educate their citizens about the benefits of recycling.
Some tips to ease your way into recycling:
- Post your community’s recycling schedule on your refrigerator or have the calendar handy for reference so you don’t miss a pick-up.
- Keep a brown bag for mixed paper in those places that generate a lot of paper garbage. Put one by your desk, in the kitchen, in the kids’ rooms (have them decorate the bag as an activity that will encourage them to remember to recycle).
- Get a nice-looking bin for mixed cans and bottles to keep in your kitchen. Make it a habit to rinse all recyclables to avoid odors.
- Get the whole family involved in recycling. Check out our short listing of ways to recycle below.
Look in the yellow pages under “Used Appliances” for businesses that will haul away old appliances for a small fee and recycle the metal or, better yet, will buy your old appliance for parts.
Send old sneakers to Nike’s “Reuse-A-Shoe Program”, which collects old athletic shoes of any brand and gives them new life as athletic surfaces (playgrounds, running tracks, tennis courts, etc.) To date, the program has kept more than 13 million pairs of shoes out of landfills.
Boat Shrink Wrap
Accepted by the Northern and Southern Recycling Centers.
If you have old books that you no longer need they can be donated to the International Book Project. They will send your books to people in need for all levels of students from kindergarten to graduate school.
Books can also be donated to the Global Literacy Project. The Global Literacy Project, Inc. is a non-profit and tax-exempt organization committed to fostering community-based literacy initiatives throughout the world.
Staples stores have collection areas for old cell phones (and toner cartridges).
Verizon Wireless HopeLine also collects old cell phones from customers of any carrier, refurbishes them, sells them, and uses the proceeds to purchase phones and air time for victims of domestic violence. Phones can be mailed in or dropped off at any Verizon Wireless store. Visit Verizon’s website to learn more.
St. Joseph’s Parish in Toms River holds an annual clothing giveaway in April for those in need. Clothing can be donated to the St. Josephs Parish Social Concern Committee by calling 732-349-0018, ext. 2227.
Displaced Homemakers and the Ocean County Family Success Center are opening a Career Closet at the Family Success Center, 1433 Hooper Avenue. Needed are donations of clean, gently used women’s business attire (suits, blazers, skirts, pants, blouses, shoes, and handbags). These items will help women in their move to economic self-sufficiency. Info: Eileen Burdge, ext. 2297, or Dana Simonelli, ext. 2459. (posted 3/26/15)
Patagonia outdoor wear collects and recycles many old garments such as their worn-out Capilene Performance Baselayers, Patagonia fleece, Polartec fleece (from any maker), Patagonia cotton T-shirts, and some additional polyester and nylon products that come with a “Common Threads” tag. Visit the Patagonia outdoor wear website to learn more about their recycling program.
Computers are accepted for recycling at the County’s Northern and Southern Recycling Centers. This program is for computers only, no televisions or VCRs are accepted. Residents may bring computers and computer components Monday through Saturday at either Center from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm at no cost. Any businesses who have computers to recycle should contact Supreme Asset Management and Recovery in the Lakewood Industrial Park at 732-370-4100. The County accepts the following computer equipment from residents for recycling:
- Central processing units
- Expansion boards
- Keyboards and mice
- Laptop peripherals
For more information, see Ocean County’s Solid Waste website.
Donate your old computer to the National Cristina Foundation, which distributes old but working computers to people with special needs.
See the Crayon Initiative recycling program.
These are not a biodegradable item, so rather than tossing them, bring them back to a dry cleaner’s for reuse. While you’re there, ask them if they will take back those cleaner’s bags!
The Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, LBI is taking sheets, towels, and household items (609-492-9477).
Inkjet and Toner Cartridges
Free postage-paid boxes are provided by ECCO Recycles. The smaller ones are for inkjets and the larger box will hold laser cartridges. ECCO provides prepaid envelopes to mail in inkjets. Your business will receive up to $4.00 for each empty inkjet cartridge and up to $12.00 for certain laser/fax/copier cartridges. Contact Bob West or at 609-654-6282.
Give extra pieces of luggage in good to excellent condition to groups like New Jersey Mentor, an organization which provides therapeutic foster care for wards of the state, who often have to move their belongings in trash bags. They could also use your unwanted new clothing and shoes.
Pep Boys will take uncontaminated motor oil. They will ask to see your driver’s license.
The EPA reports that 200 million gallons of used motor oil are improperly disposed of each year. Next time you change the oil, put the old stuff into a clean plastic container, then call Jiffy Lube and ask about its recycling program. Many Jiffy Lube stores will take the used oil to a recycling center, which turns it into such things as heating oil or asphalt.
Obsolete Electronic Equipment
Supreme Computer and Electronic Recycling, Inc will take all of your old Electronics including monitors, computers, printers, keyboards, fax machines, copiers, televisions, mice, scanners, DVD players, radios, and wire. They will disassemble every piece of your assets as part of their no landfill policy and recycle 100% of the materials back into the manufacturing stream.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is partnering with the New Jersey Clean Energy Program to offer a free pickup of your old refrigerator or freezer. They will responsibly recycle 95% of the unit; and in addition, you will receive $50 plus free information about energy saving ideas on how to both save money and help protect our climate & shoreline. To schedule a pickup call 1-866-657-6278.
Remodeling/Home Building Supplies
Habitat for Humanity‘s retail stores accept donations of home-building and remodeling supplies, including paint, cabinets, lumber, shingles, and windows (good condition only, please). The items will be resold and the money used to buy supplies for a Habitat project and you’ll get a tax receipt. Find a Habitat for Humanity retail store near you or call 1-800-HABITAT.
Styrofoam™ packaging can be so hazardous to the environment, ending up in landfills, streams, and the ocean. It’s 100% recyclable, but is not accepted with regular recycling pick-ups.
Foam Pack Industries recycles styrofoam™ packaging and food containers, at no charge. Send it in either by mail, or at their drop-off location: Foam Pack Industries, 72 Fadem Road, Springfield, NJ 07081.
Towels and Washcloths
Homeless shelters are always willing to accept old, faded towels and washcloths. Animal shelters are always in need of old towels, bath mats, etc. for their dogs and cats to snuggle up in while waiting for a new home.
Donate videos, toys, and puzzles (good condition only) to your local Ronald McDonald House. These houses welcome donations for siblings of sick children to help them pass the time while their brother or sister is undergoing long hours of treatment.
At work and at home, many of us use Tyvek® envelopes. Those are the envelopes that look like paper but really are long-chain synthetic polymers (polyethylene) made from petroleum and natural gas. Tyvek® envelopes are used in many industries because it is fibrous, lightweight, tough, and water resistant. The manufacturer (DuPont™) has made a commitment to collect and use envelopes nationwide to recycle them into other useful materials that provide sound alternatives to the use of wood. Learn how you can recycle Tyvek® envelopes by visiting the DuPont™ website.
Pages from old calendars, maps, and atlases make unique (FREE) wrapping paper. Use your imagination and make the wrapping of your gift as much of a gift as the item itself! If you get a beautiful card in the mail, save it and use the picture as a decoration and/or gift tag for your gift package. Slip a few dried lavender sprigs or dried grasses underneath the plain twine you use for ribbon. Paper is a very valuable resource and needs to be conserved. Get creative! Wrap your gift up in something useful like a new kitchen towel.