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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

November 15, 2018

Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 292-2994


(18/P099) TRENTON – As part of America Recycles Day today, the Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging residents across New Jersey to renew their commitment to recycling as a way to protect the environment and conserve natural resources throughout the year.

America Recycles Day is a Keep America Beautiful national initiative focused on promoting and celebrating recycling. Recycling is an opportunity for residents to help keep their communities clean and vibrant. More than 2,000 events are planned nationwide for America Recycles Day.

America Recycles Day“For more than 30 years New Jersey has been a national leader in recycling, recognizing the positive impacts it has on our environment, economy and efforts to protect and conserve natural resources,” said Paul Baldauf, Assistant Commissioner for Air Quality, Energy and Sustainability. “America Recycles Day is an opportunity to remind everyone that recycling keeps communities clean, safeguards public health and improves the overall quality of life. This is one way everyone can make a real difference in protecting the environment every day.”

Residents can do their part by keeping nonrecyclable items such as plastic bags, propane tanks and used syringes out of curbside and workplace recycling bins. Recyclable items are valuable raw materials used to make new products and should not be mixed with other materials.

In 1987, New Jersey became the first state to make recycling mandatory, adopting the Statewide Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act. This law requires recycling in residential, commercial and institutional settings.

New Jersey achieved an overall recycling rate of 63 percent in 2015 the most recent year for which data is available and remains a national leader in recycling. The DEP administers several grant and educational programs on behalf of recycling.

America Recycles DayEfforts to recycle have far-reaching environmental and economic impacts that help reduce the need for new landfills and incinerators. A 2015 economic impact study released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries showed that the nation’s scrap recycling industry is similar in scope to that of the data processing, dental and automotive repair industries. In addition, an earlier National Recycling Coalition report found that the recycling and reuse industry adds almost $6 billion annually to New Jersey’s economy.

For more information about America Recycles Day, visit or

To learn more about recycling in New Jersey, visit

For tips on how to reduce waste production, visit

For information on what each of New Jersey’s 21 counties recycles, visit or check with your county’s recycling coordinator at



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Last Updated: November 16, 2018