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NJDEP names recycling award winners

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Nicholas Polanin, Contributor
Published 5:00 a.m. ET Nov. 22, 2020

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While the global recycling community continues to face challenges due to weak recycling markets and rising program costs, New Jersey is doing a good job of recycling thanks in part to the efforts of this year’s New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recycling award winners.

Among the 2020 honorees are a business that recycles food waste from its cafeterias and plastics from its laboratories; a municipality that recycles 75% of its waste, including polystyrene; a university with a comprehensive recycling and reuse program and an 11 year-old boy who started a successful battery recycling program.

The NJDEP recently recognized Merck, Middletown Township, Princeton University and Sri Nihal Tammana of Edison among 10 businesses, organizations and individuals during a virtual awards ceremony held in conjunction with an Association of New Jersey Recyclers educational webinar. 

“I commend the award winners for their innovative efforts to promote recycling and educate their communities about the importance of diverting waste,” NJDEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “New Jersey has been a national leader in recycling for many years, thanks in part to the types of initiatives we see from our recycling award winners and those who follow their excellent examples. Their work helps protect our environment by keeping communities clean and reducing the impacts of climate change.”

In 1987, New Jersey became the first state to enact legislation that requires recycling in residential, commercial and institutional settings. New Jersey achieved an overall recycling rate of 60% in 2017. The NJDEP administers a number of grant and educational programs to help improve the statewide recycling rate.     

The Volunteer Citizen Award this year went to Sri Nihal Tammana, 11, of Edison, who started a nonprofit organization dedicated to recycling batteries, including rechargeable batteries and button batteries. To date, his efforts have resulted in recycling more than 35,000 batteries.

Other awardees included PSE&G, which achieved a 93% recycling rate in 2019 by recycling the typical materials found in office settings and Long Beach Township, which implemented an innovative voluntary recycling project that diverts oyster and clam shells from restaurants for use in establishing a research oyster reef in Little Egg Harbor Bay.

The NJDEP urges all residents to participate in their local recycling program and do their part to keep unacceptable materials, such as plastic bags, trash, propane tanks and used syringes, out of curbside and workplace recycling bins.

Calling young artists

Are you artistic? Is your creativity seeking a new challenge? If so, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s “Hooked On Fishing – Not On Drugs” program is looking for a new logo and is inviting all New Jersey students aged 21 and under (must be under 21 by the end of calendar year 2020 to be eligible) to enter. The objective of the contest is to help the program update the logo for a unique representation.

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To enter, participants must submit original artwork along with a completed entry form via mail or email. Only one submission per person will be accepted. A slogan is not required. However, you may come up with your own or use one of the following: “My kids are Hooked on Fishing, are yours?”; “Get Hooked on Fishing!”; “New Jersey is Hooked on Fishing!” All artwork submitted must be original. Additional submission requirements can be found at bit.ly/390JQS9.

All submissions, whether on paper or in digital format, will not be returned. One winner and 12 honorable submissions will be announced in 2021 via email. Contest entrants can mail their artwork and completed entry form to Hooked on Fishing Logo Contest, NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, 605 Pequest Road, Oxford, NJ 07863. Submissions may also be emailed to: hofnod@dep.nj.gov with the required e-mail subject line: “HOFNOD Logo Contest.”

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The logo contest submission deadline has been extended to Dec. 31, 2020. All paper submissions must be postmarked by then.

A selection committee comprised of Division staff will evaluate all entries based on relevance (aligns with the theme and goals), originality (a distinct design with creativity and imagination), and aesthetic quality (commands attention/visual balance/appealing design).

Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs is a nationally recognized program created by the Future Fisherman Foundation. The goal of New Jersey’s Hooked on Fishing program is to encourage school-aged children to avoid tobacco, drug, and alcohol usage by providing alternative activities that involve learning to fish, appreciating aquatic and environmental resources, and developing positive life skills. The program provides students with access to these extracurricular outlets that utilize New Jersey’s incredible outdoor recreational assets.

The core program message is that you don’t need to use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs to have fun! It’s the type of program that not only will help reduce drug and alcohol use in youth, but will also bring families closer together by giving them an inexpensive outdoor recreation activity they can all participate in. For more information about the program, please visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/hofnodnj.htm.

Nicholas Polanin is associate professor, agricultural agent II, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension of Somerset County. Email him at polanin@njaes.rutgers.edu.

Read or Share this story: https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/land-environment/2020/11/22/njdep-names-recycling-award-winners-gardener-state/6356140002/



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