Leonia, NJ / Sept. 14, 2018 — Leonia garbage bins are about to get a lot emptier now that a group of Leonia students figured out how to get rid of most waste without putting it in the garbage.
Starting Sept 17, 2018, residents and businesses will begin using Bergen County's most comprehensive recycling database www.leoniarecycles.org, a user friendly, searchable database of common household items with recycling and disposal information, photographs, resource links, and recycling locations. You can access the database at leonianj.gov/recycling.
The recycling database covers every type of object from toothpaste tubes to tires, straws to smoke alarms. Borough residents and businesses are about to find out some every day items are surprisingly easy to recycle and others are more complicated to dispose of. Who knew that the common button battery and fluorescent light bulb contain mercury and can't go in either municipal garbage or municipal recycling?
The recycling database was created by five high school students who participated in the Leonia Environmental Commission Summer Internship. They compiled data, sorted through conflicting information, and managed to find a place for almost every household object outside of the garbage bin.
The students are fixing major problems for the borough — contamination of the town's recycling and too much garbage. Earlier this year, residential and business recycling was so severely contaminated that the borough's recycling rate was downgraded. The downgrade sent costs spiraling higher for recycled metal, glass and plastic (commingled) and a revenue drop for recycled paper. At some point, the Department of Public Works stopped picking up the most severely contaminated recycling.
If residents and businesses use the new recycling database, the Borough of Leonia could get their recycle rates back on track and also reduce the amount the borough spends on waste hauled to landfill. It's an environmental initiative with great economic benefits.
The recycling database will be publicly launched during the Leonia Mayor & Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 17 at 7:30pm at the Leonia Borough Hall Annex Building, 305 Beechwood Place. During the meeting, the Leonia Mayor & Council will be recognizing the important work of the student interns and their advisers. The five interns are Katie Lee, Christy Choo, Jamie Kim, Ashley Kwak, and Lauren Kwak. The advisers are Christie Evens and Jessie Glass of Glass Foundry glassfoundry.com.
Bill Ziegler, Leonia Councilperson
Christie Evens, Adviser
Alex Torpey, Leonia Borough Administrator