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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2009

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

DEP HONORS RECYLING LEADERS AND POETRY CONTEST WINNERS

(09/P22) TRENTON - A construction company using recycled steel to build Meadowlands Stadium, a pharmaceuticals firm that diverts food waste from landfills, and a woman who teaches Bergen County schoolchildren the importance of recycling are among those honored as New Jersey’s recycling leaders, Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello announced today.

“From the gridiron to our corporate board rooms and our schools, the recycling ethic is strong in New Jersey,” Commissioner Mauriello said in announcing the DEP’s recycling leadership award and poetry contest winners. “Recycling remains one of the best ways to show that we care about the environment. The simple act of separating recyclables from our trash not only saves natural resources, it strengthens our economy and reduces the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. On behalf of Governor Jon S. Corzine, congratulations to all of today’s winners for their efforts in building a greener and more sustainable New Jersey.”

The awards were presented during the 29th New Jersey Recycling Symposium and Awards Luncheon in Eatontown. The DEP and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers co-sponsor the event each year.

The awards ceremony recognizes the vision, innovation and leadership of individuals, organizations, businesses and government agencies that have taken notable steps to boost recycling during the past year.

During the event, winners of the annual recycling poetry contest for children in fourth through sixth grades also were honored.

“These poems, many accompanied by creative pieces of art, demonstrate commitment to recycling and passion for the environment,” Commissioner Mauriello said. “Our future is in good hands.”

Following are the Recycling Awards:

Institution

Winner: South Jersey Healthcare
Vineland-based South Jersey Healthcare has implemented a “recycle everything” policy that resulted in the diversion of 389 tons of waste from landfills, representing a 120 percent increase in materials the organization recycled. South Jersey Healthcare goes well beyond traditional recycling to recycle used oil, lamps, batteries and telephone books.

Business

Winner: Ortho McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals
The Raritan-based company achieved a 72 percent recycling and reuse rate as a result of a campus-wide program that includes fiber, plastics, metal, wood and food waste. The food waste program alone diverted 120 tons. Other items that would have been destroyed are donated to needy countries and the military.

Government

Winner: Ocean City
The city has continually improved its recycling program, over the past few years adding recycling of used electronics, textiles, and phones and a paper-shredding program. The city is committed to using and purchasing recycled materials and products.

Government

Winner: Edison Department of Public Works
The Public Works Department has recycled more than two million tons of materials over the years, achieving annual recycling rates consistently exceeding 50 percent. The program has been expanded to include electronics, batteries, tires, motor oil, concrete, asphalt, textiles and organic waste. The Department of Public Works and Department of Recreation are constructing a walkway made of recycled plastic as part of the Raritan Riverfront restoration and park.

Outstanding Educator/Educational Program

Winner: Lori Russo
Russo manages the Bergen County Utilities Authority’s recycling public education program. Each school year, she presents some 285 programs to thousands of students. She also presents programs to senior citizen groups, women’s clubs, libraries and environmental groups. Russo has developed and written the programs as well as the accompanying promotional materials. She is also responsible for responding to calls to the county’s environmental programs hotline.

Recycling Industry

Winner: Trans-Americas Textile Recycling Co.
Based in Clifton, Trans-America over the years has recycled more than 16.8 million pounds of post-consumer textile waste that includes wiping rags, carpet padding, and used clothing. Since 2001, the company has implemented municipal programs serving an estimated 200,000 residents at no cost to the municipalities.

Commissioner’s Award

Winner: New Meadowlands Stadium Co.
East Rutherford-based New Meadowlands Stadium Co. is using 40,000 tons of recycled steel in the construction of the new Meadowlands Stadium and is planning to recycle 20,000 of steel when Giants Stadium is demolished next year. The company has pledged to recycle 75 percent of its construction waste and use recycled plastic and concrete in construction of seating areas. Concessionaires in the new stadium will use plates and cups that can be composted.

Poetry Contest Awards

Fourth grade: Morgan Howell, Greenwich Elementary School, Stewartsville; Allyson Winters, Walnut Street Elementary School, Toms River; Elizabeth Barbier, McKenzie Elementary School, East Rutherford; Giovanni Privitera, St. Anne’s School, Jersey City.

Fifth grade: Tara Prabhu, Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School, Berkeley Heights; Sophia Gulati, Brookside Upper Elementary School, Westwood; Nico Blasucci, Academy of St. Francis of Assisi, Totowa; Brandon Danley, Notre Dame Regional School, Landisville.

Sixth grade: Sojung Koh, Fort Lee School No. 1, Fort Lee; Natalie Zychlinski, Our Lady of Mount Virgin School, Middlesex; Isabel Soriaga, St. Cecelia School, Iselin; Kelsey Kapski, Saints Philip and James School, Phillipsburg.

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