August 8, 2011
- Recycling Grants Awarded.
- Southern Pine Beetle Suppression Efforts Continue.
The State’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has recently issued news releases on two important matters.
First, the good news.
I. Recycling Grants Awarded
On August 1, DEP announced the awarding of this year’s recycling tonnage grants. Based on 2009 municipal recycling rates, $12.8 million was awarded, State-wide. The grant money is made available through the Recycling Enhancement Act, a law that has significantly increased Recycling Tonnage Grants that the DEP is able to make to local governments. The grant program is funded by a $3 per ton surcharge on trash disposed at solid waste facilities.
Municipal governments, vital to the overall success of recycling, receive 60 percent of the money the fund generates to help them enhance outreach and compliance efforts. The balance is awarded to county solid-waste management and household hazardous-waste collection programs, county and state promotional efforts, and recycling research. Individual grants are based on the recycling success local governments demonstrated in 2009.
The grant awards are being made several months earlier than in the past due to a system that now allows local governments to report solid waste figures electronically coupled with outreach by the DEP.
The programs receiving the highest grant awards this year based on their recycling achievements are: Newark (Essex County) $269,447; Jersey City (Hudson) $267,322; Vineland (Cumberland) $266,769; Hamilton (Mercer) $253,432; Toms River (Ocean) $203;334; East Brunswick (Middlesex) $195,329; Clifton (Passaic) $192,339; South Brunswick (Middlesex) $159,936; Paterson (Passaic) $151,802; and Cherry Hill (Camden) $146,679.
In 2009, New Jersey recycled more than 11.6 million tons of the 20 million tons of solid waste generated; however, the overall recycling rate fell slightly from 59.1 percent in 2008 to 58.3 percent in 2009. Recycling of auto scrap dropped as a result of the ending of the federal “cash for clunkers” program. Materials recycled during construction projects have also declined.
For a list of grants awarded and other recycling data, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/recycling/stats.htm
Now, the not-so-great news.
II. Southern Pine Beetle Suppression Efforts Continue
DEP continues to battle the southern pine beetle in the Pinelands this summer, forming partnerships with local governments to identify and attack outbreaks, conducting weekly aerial surveys to assess damage and pinpoint suppression efforts, and using a federal grant to develop a plan for further suppression efforts that may include controlled burning of infested woodlands.
The New Jersey Pinelands Commission, the state agency charged with protecting the million-acre Pinelands National Reserve, has pledged to work closely with the DEP, recently authorizing the emergency cutting of 300 acres of dead and dying pine trees on state-owned lands in the Pinelands.
The beetles are about the size of a grain of rice. Infestations are marked by the sudden onset of yellowish needles that quickly turn brown. Infestations usually are not recognizable until small stands of trees are affected. The bark of infested trees may show numerous excretions of yellowish-white sap oozing from tubes that the beetles bore into the bark.
Pesticides are not effective at large-scale control of the southern pine beetle. The DEP’s primary strategy is to identify affected stands, or hot spots, and cut down the affected trees before the beetles spread. The beetles become disoriented by the horizontal position of the trees and do not spread.
To learn more about the southern pine beetle, get the latest updates and find scheduled pine beetle information sessions, visit: www.southernpinebeetle.nj.gov
For more information or to report possibly infested trees, contact the Forest Service Trenton Office at (609) 292-2531; Southern Regional Office at (609) 625-1124, Central Regional Office at (609) 726-1621, Northern Regional Office at (973) 786-5035, or your local consulting forester or a certified tree expert.
If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.