CASE STUDY

SOURCE-SEPARATED | CLIFTON, NJ

Total Population: 90,000| Curbside collections households: 31,000
Curbside Collection type: Source-separated 10 material categories

Clifton, NJ's recycling source-separated recycling program has been successful since the early 1980s. In 2015, Clifton recycled about 4,300 tons of materials. Of that material, glass containers, separated by color, made up 1,100 tons and brought in $13,900 in glass revenue. Their drop off program is very popular among residents because of their unique curbside collection schedule - once every three weeks. 

 

Clifton's residents are committed to separating their recyclables which has been a key factor in the city’s recycling success. Source separation enables Clifton to market loads of color-specific glass. Sales of total recycled materials over the years, combined with recycling grant money from the state, Clifton has grossed about $10 million since launching its program.

 

 

The state grant money comes through what’s known as a municipal recycling tonnage grant. Funded by a $3 per ton tax on all solid waste accepted for disposal or transfer at New Jersey solid waste facilities, the program makes available grant funds for cities based on how much they recycle each year. Last year Clifton received about $180,000 through the grant program, and $380,000 in revenue from the commodity sales. Color-separated glass containers will remain part of Clifton's curbside and drop-off programs. 

 

 

SOURCE: Resource Recycling Magazine and Al DuBois, City of Clifton

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