Plastic-free July – Final Weeks

Hi Folks,

As you may have seen on our Facebook page, we have been participating in a Plastic-free July Celebration along with our fellow Mercer County Sustainability Coalition (MCSC) members.   As we wind down, and with our usual timeliness, we would just like to speak a little bit about the movement.

Plastic Free July is a movement that spans over 177 countries and 250 million participants.  For more information we encourage you to go to https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/.

Thru the movement we encourage you to explore ways to cut down on plastic waste from bags, balloons, packaging, dental floss, and more. The posts on our Facebook page, along with the images, we hope will inspire you to break free of plastic waste.  Along with our partners in the MCSC, we have been and will be posting a different tip or thought provoking concept that challenges you to do more for the environment.

July is a month filled with barbecues and picnics and outdoor dining. And as a result, July is filled with plastic waste. The Coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the amount of plastic waste being littered and disposed of all over the State (gloves, masks, etc). Plastic Free July is the antidote! Now is a great time to adopt new habits that can reduce your plastic footprint and help you to live more harmoniously with the environment.

On both our Website and our Facebook page, our volunteers share ways of combatting the tidal wave of plastic trash in our lives. They will suggest inventive ways to reduce our plastic footprint: everything from little tricks for remembering to bring your own reusable shopping bag and your own water bottle, to how to do a waste audit of your house to figure out your real plastic footprint (tip: include the recycling bucket). Posts and information will also explore how refusing and reducing plastic waste beats recycling as a strategy.

#PlasticFreeJuly will save you money as well, because you are charged for all the little plastic things you use and throw away. You are charged twice: once when you buy it (the cost is hidden in the price of your purchase) and once when you throw it away (in your municipal disposal fees).

Waste reduction is the wave of the future as landfill space shrinks. So the households and municipalities that figure out how to cut down on waste going to landfills will be better prepared. And the Ewing Green Team is making this preparation fun.

The EGT and the MCSC believe that it takes residents from all over Mercer County working together to make a difference in our world. Join us for #PlasticFreeJuly !

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING RECYCLING COLLECTION

We are in the midst of the worst recycling environment which we have seen in the last 20 years and all indications are that the market for recycling materials will not improve in the foreseeable future.  You may have read about the restrictions placed by China on importing recyclable materials from the United States.  China has closed its doors to many types of recycling materials and is requiring that the material be free from contamination.

China was the largest consumer of US recyclable volume and no longer is purchasing the volumes that it did in the past.  This means that there is a glut of supply in the market which is significantly driving down the value of this materials.  As a result, in many cities across the nation, recyclables are ending up in landfills.

We ask that all residents keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind when recycling:

Recycling Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO remember the first of the 3Rs of recycling: Reduce. Make every effort to reduce the amount of waste that you produce.  Single-use plastics are a significant component of that waste stream because they “don’t go away and essentially, last forever.  Make every effort to eliminate single-use items such as plastic grocery bags, straws, utensils and cups, bottled water, take-out containers…   Use reusable versions of those products instead.
  • DO recycle all empty bottles, cans, paper and cardboard.
  • DO recycle clean materials: i.e. keep foods and liquids out of recycling.
  • DO keep plastic bags out of recycling.
  • DO check out this site for more information about how you can do your share to Reduce | Reuse | Recycle.
  • DON’T bag your recyclables. Plastic bags and film get tangled in the machinery.  (Our local supermarkets have plastic bag collection bins at their entrances.)
  • DON’T include soiled food items. They can turn an entire load of recycling into trash.
  • DON’T add sharp or dangerous materials like needles and electronics. They can cause injury to workers.
  • DON’T include bulky items like propane tanks or construction debris (no wood). The Township Convenience Center at 136 Scotch Road will take a lot of materials that you cannot leave at the curb.  Please check our website or call 609- 882-3382 for accepted materials.
  • DON’T add items that are not on the list of accepted materials. This will contaminate the entire load.

We thank you for your anticipated cooperation and efforts to reduce our community’s impact on the environment.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate the Township’s Recycling Coordinator, Tom Elder at 609-882-3382 X 6404.

View the Announcement

Ewing Better Bag Project

Hello Ewing Green Team Friends!   My name is Patrick Otey and for my BSA Eagle Project I have chosen to work with the Ewing Green Team to create a new initiative called The Ewing Better Bag Project.   In an effort to promote sustainability and reduce plastic waste, I will be conducting a citizen survey aimed at discovering what customers are doing with the plastic bags they get while shopping and encouraging them to use reusable bags instead.

By helping to educate citizens about the harmful lasting effects of plastic bags and providing them with several free reusable bags, it is my hope that more people will take this small but important step to alter their shopping habits to help the environment. I will be hosting an information table, conducting surveys, and distributing free reusable bags donated by Ewing Township and Mercer County at several Ewing retailers on the following dates:

  • Sunday July 9:  11:00 – 2:00 pm , at Shoprite of Ewing
  • Saturday July 15:  10:00 – 1:00pm, at the Trenton Farmer’s Market

Thank you for supporting this important effort!  We hope to see you at these events.

Patrick Otey

 

Upcoming Events You Shouldn’t Miss!

Special Events Planned for Next Week

The last week of October is a busy week.  Check out these local events to help you on your path to a more sustainable life.  From plastic pollution to organic waste practices in our county, and bike advocacy in town, there is something for everyone.

BAG IT – Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Film and Discussion 

Date: Monday, October 27, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: The College of New Jersey Library Auditorium (Basement)
Parking:  See Parking Map.
Cost: Only 2 hours or so of your time

Join the Ewing Green Team for an award winning film and discussion about plastic pollution from single use plastic bags and our disposable lifestyles.  Moderated by Noemi de la Puente, founder and organizer of the grass roots organization, njthinkoutsidethebag.

This screening is part of an ongoing effort to educate Mercer County residents about how they can be part of the solution before they vote on November 4^th on a nonbinding referendum to support a 5¢ fee on single use plastic bags.

An Environmental Insights offering, a series of films, discussions and speakers brought to you by the  Ewing Green Team, designed to engage Ewing residents in a public conversation about critical environmental issues and to spark new ideas concerning sustainability.


If It Grows, It Goes…

All you need to know about organic waste recycling

Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014  foodwaste-istock
Time: 7 – 9 pm
Location:  Dempster Fire Academy Auditorium, 350 Lawrence Station Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Cost: Free and open to the public
Pre-registration requested

Organic waste is a part of our everyday lives.  We can’t help but encounter it every time we eat, tend to our yards, or many other daily chores.

That’s why we’re breaking it down for you.  County Executive Brian Hughes will offer opening remarks and a panel of experts will explain what organic waste is, where it goes and what happens in the recycling process. Panelists will present local success stories and how you can bring this program to your town.

The Curbside Organics Program is already in place in Princeton and is currently under contract in Lawrence and Hopewell. Other municipalities in Mercer are looking to join in the near future.

Organic waste recycling is an easy way to make a HUGE impact through small actions.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about it, while networking with other like-minded individuals from throughout the region.

Hosted by Sustainable Jersey, sustainability organizations from Princeton, Lawrence, Hopewell, Ewing, West Windsor and The Mercer County Office of Economic Development and Sustainability.

For more info or to register, click here    |    Download the flier   | Driving directions

*Light refreshments will be served.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.*


Bike Ewing!

Join Our New Bike Advocacy Group

Date: Thursday, October 30, 2014  bikeewing
Time: 7 pm
Location: The College of New Jersey, Social Sciences Building Room 241
Parking:  See Parking Map.

The Ewing Green Team announces the launch of a NEW Ewing Bike Advocacy Group and invites you to join with us to promote a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community.  The 2nd meeting will be held on Thursday, October 30th.

Monthly meetings, goal setting, and other startup activities are in the planning stages.

For more information call Mark at 609- 802- 6798.