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Union County Offers a New Way to Help Stem the Tide of Plastic Waste

Union County residents have a new opportunity to help conserve resources and keep plastic out of the waste stream. The Union County Board of County Commissioners has launched a new drop-off plastic film recycling program, in partnership with participating municipalities. The service is free of charge.

The new plastic film recycling program is the first countywide plastic film recycling effort to launch in New Jersey.

“We are all very proud to bring this new recycling program to Union County. It will enable our residents to help conserve valuable resources and hold back the tide of plastic waste. We encourage everyone in the participating municipalities to join in,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca L. Williams.

The Commissioner Board is partnering with the firm Trex Company, Inc., to bring the new recycling program to Union County. Trex is the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance, low-maintenance composite decking and other outdoor living products made from recycled materials.

The program launched with an initial cohort of 12 municipalities: Berkeley Heights, Fanwood, Cranford, Elizabeth, Hillside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit, Westfield and Union.

Information about locations and scheduling is available on the Union County website at ucnj.org/recycling/plastic-film and on the free Recycle Coach app for mobile devices.

Most of the participating municipalities will accept clean, dry plastic film from any Union County resident, regardless of their home town. Please note that the drop-off locations in Fanwood and Summit are not accessible to non-residents at this time.

In order to protect the recycling stream from contamination, only the following items are accepted:

From the store: produce bags, store bags, and ice bags

From the pantry: Ziploc and other re-closable bags, cereal box liners, case overwrap (for example a case of bottled water), and bread bags

From the front door: newspaper sleeves, bubble wrap, and plastic e-commerce mailers

As a reminder, only flexible plastic film may be recycled through this program. No clamshells, casings, containers or other hard plastic items are accepted.

The company Direct Waste will accept the recyclable film material from the program and consolidate it for shipping to Trex. The County is also providing municipalities with oversized bags for storing and transporting the film.

For information about the Recycle Coach app and all recycling programs hosted by Union County, visit ucnj.org/recycling.

Quick links to all environmental programs and activities hosted or supported by the Commissioner Board are available at The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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