12/31/2015 - Freeholders Offer Tips for Waste-Free Holidays and Recycling
The Somerset County Board of Freeholders invites residents to give “green” gifts a chance this holiday season and to recycle as much as possible.
“During the holidays, there are many things we can do to minimize the amount of waste we create,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia Walsh, solid waste management and recycling liaison. “Giving ’green’ gifts is one way to conserve resources, minimize the mess of packaging materials and even save money. Recycling boxes, wrapping paper, gift cards, cardboard and acceptable plastics is another way.”
Following are some “green” gift ideas, which will keep on giving well past the holiday season: Tickets: theatre, dance, concert, comedy, sports events; Season Passes: sports and entertainment venues; Memberships: gym, organizations; Subscriptions: books, magazines; Lessons: cooking, music, dancing; Gift Certificates: restaurant, car wash, spa, bed-and-breakfast; Services: housecleaning, yard work, car washing; Charities: donate money in a recipient’s name. Contributions to nonprofit organizations often are tax deductible.
Ideas on how to reduce waste include: Purchasing products with little or no packaging, sending electronic holiday cards to tech-savvy friends and family members, reusing gift wrap and bags and making the packaging part of the gift, such as wrapping a gift in a tablecloth, dishtowel, an article of clothing or a reusable tote bag.
Residents are reminded that they can recycle holiday waste, such as corrugated cardboard, chipboard (gift boxes), nonmetallic wrapping paper, holiday cards and plastics - #1 through #7 - at their usual curbside collection or at First Saturday of the Month drop-off events. Upcoming Saturday drop-off dates at the Somerset County Recycling Center, located at 40 Polhemus Lane in Bridgewater, are Dec. 5 and Jan. 9 (second Saturday of the month due to the New Year’s Day holiday).
For more information about Somerset County’s recycling program, visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/recycle/index.html.
Somerset County no longer accepts consumer electronics (e-waste) at First Saturday of the Month events. Residents who receive electronics for the holidays can recycle their old ones, free of charge, at the following locations:
South County Public Works Garage, 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 on scheduled Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North County Public Works Facility, 411 Chimney Rock Road – north of Route 22 - Building B, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 and the South County Public Works Garage, 410 Roycefield Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.
Drop-off dates for Saturday electronic waste collections will be Dec. 5, 2015 and Jan. 9, Feb. 6, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 9, Aug. 6, Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3, 2016. For more information about electronic waste drop-offs, call (908) 541-5021.
Somerset County electronic waste collection sites will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Residents can recycle Christmas trees from dawn to dusk at two Somerset County Park Commission parks from Dec. 26, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016: North Branch Park in Bridgewater in Parking Lot A and Colonial Park in Somerset in Parking Lot F. For directions, visit www.somersetcountyparks.org/genInfo/directions/NorthBranch.html for North Branch Park and www.somersetcountyparks.org/genInfo/directions/ColonialPark.html for Colonial Park.
Residents can spread holiday cheer throughout the year by putting canned food items in a plastic bag curbside on their regularly scheduled recycling days or by bringing them to First Saturday of the Month drop-off events. Donations are delivered to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.
In addition, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection offers holiday-shopping ideas, ways to cut down on food waste, and post-holiday “stuff” management ideas at www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/recycling/xmas_06.htm, www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/recycling/foodwast_article.htm
To learn about county programs and services, visit www.co.somerset.nj.us/howdoi.html.
To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe.html or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.