Planet Princeton

Something stinks in Princeton’s recycling and composting programs

I’m wondering what is happening with the recycling and composting programs in Princeton. As I walk around Princeton, I see more and more “non recyclable” items in the yellow bins such as styrofoam,  plastic shopping bags and pizza boxes. We know this pollutes the stream and often necessitates that a greater percentage just gets rerouted to the landfill. Also, I see fewer and fewer new green composting bins on the street and realize that I haven’t received anything from the township in years asking me to join the composting program or reminding me of what can and can’t be recycled and composted. I know this information is available on the town’s website, but judging from simple observation I don’t think many residents look or even are even aware of that.

I know that the management of the programs has changed hands and I wonder if whoever is in charge now even cares about the results or the value of these programs to the community and our environment. I know for a fact that their predecessor did, because I volunteered my time and worked with her to increase awareness and expand participation.

Since I began drafting this editorial a week ago a lot has apparently changed, not for the better.

In an email from the mayor to the composting participants, we have been notified that the program is in jeopardy of being terminated because of “repeated contamination” of the composting shipments to the processing facility.

We are being told that the town just found out about this despite the fact that the hauler apparently knew months ago. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Why would it take so long for those running the program to inform the participants? People are participating in this program because we want to, not because it is mandatory like recycling. Don’t you think adjustments would have been made immediately?

Bottom line is something stinks in the recycling and composting programs in Princeton and those currently in change are doing little to clear the air.

My questions are where’s Janet? And why isn’t she running the program anymore?

Just one resident wondering out loud.

Bob Rabner

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