EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Atlantic County Utilities Authority has announced that Atlantic County residents can once again place polypropylene, or #5 plastics, in their curbside recycling bins. Polypropylene is commonly used in food packaging, such as single-use yogurt cups, iced coffee cups and juice bottles.
The change is a result of an up-turn in recycling markets and the ACUA’s new partnership with Mazza Recycling.
“We know residents want to recycle all they can so we’re happy to announce we can now accept #5 materials in the recycling stream,” ACUA President Rick Dovey said. “We are pleased that we have selected a prudent partner in handling Atlantic County’s recycling material.”
At the end of 2020, ACUA went out to bid to find a new facility to sort and market Atlantic County’s recycling material. The winning bid went to Mazza Recycling, which operates a brand-new sorting facility in Tinton Falls. The facility was one of four in the US to be awarded a grant through the Recycling Partnership to improve the sorting and recovery of #5 plastics.
The ACUA previously stopped accepting many materials because of the 2018 downturn in international recycling markets back. As a result, the ACUA began accepting only #1 and #2 plastics, the “cream of the crop” plastics that manufacturers seek to reuse most.
During this time, recycling sorting facilities began upgrading equipment and investing in new technologies to improve the separation of materials. The industry also worked on spurring investment in domestic markets for recycling material and creating coalitions to expand the reuse of plastic feedstock.
Fast-forward to 2021, and those investments are finally paying off. Interest in using recycled material rather than raw material is gaining importance among manufacturers and there is continued interest from consumers to recycle more materials.
The ACUA reminds residents to remain conscious of what and how they recycle.
- Empty out any liquids or food from your containers.
- Only recycle items on our accepted items list.
- Reduce your use of throw-away items in the first place to decrease your impact on the environment.
- Keep plastic film bags out of your recycling bin.
To learn more about how to properly recycle, visit ACUA.com where you can live chat with an ACUA representative.