June Meeting Speaker: Contamination Plagues Recycling

Published Wednesday, June 26, 2019
by Rachel Shubin

STONE HARBOR – Representatives from the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (CMCMUA) discussed the future of recycling plastics and protecting the coastal environment at the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce meeting at The Reeds at Shelter Haven June 20.

John Conturo, solid waste program manager, CMCMUA, provided insight into the recycling market and its impact on Cape May County. Linda Crumbock, recycling coordinator, CMCMUA, spoke of the CMCMUA’s goals of educating Cape May County, on what is recyclable and future environment preservation.

Recycling has increased in the last 30 years, but issues with quality recycling persist. Quality recycling is material collected and reprocessed into the same or similar product.

“Contamination, in regards to the recycling program, is the wrong materials that are placed into the recycling stream, or the right materials but being prepared in the wrong way,” said Conturo.

“An issue we see is recyclables in a plastic bag, which is then disposed of into the recycling stream. Plastic bags are not part of our single-stream program. That whole bag of material, including the recyclables, now becomes contamination,” Conturo continued.

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