DEP – 75% Recycling Goal Recommendations Feedback
Below are a couple of brief comments on some of the components of the proposal.
In my opinion, the 75% recycling goal is attainable as long as there is a strong education component. Strong support for public education efforts that increase awareness to the general population are just as essential as educating students K-12, in order to ensure the success of all components of the proposal. I have found that people are becoming more open and willing to recycle their garbage, but generally don’t know how to go about it, even when it is the law. A mandated, fixed percentage of the funds directed to local governments for implementation of recycling efforts should be allocated for education of participating communities. I strongly support the recommendations on sources of funding for these programs including a Bottle Bill, Landfill disposal surcharge as well as increased and sustained state contributions to grant programs over the next decade, leading up to the goal in 2020.
It is also essential for the program to include a major emphasis on developing a market for recyclable materials. This is an often underestimated part of most recycling initiatives, as the majority of the attention is directed to the collection on the front end. The proper commercialization of recycled materials will result in additional business opportunities for current waste management companies who will then encourage a higher participation from their customers.
A lot of the necessary steps to achieve this goal have already been implemented to some extent in the past. We have developed technology and knowledge to improve on previous efforts, but Education, Participation and Enforcement continue to be the biggest challenges to achieving complete success.
Private citizen - local activist