Recycling center: Recycling the wrong way could lead to higher taxes

Posted: Updated:
PASSAIC -

The manager of a New Jersey recycling center says that many people are sorting their recycling wrong, and that could lead them to pay higher taxes.

Atlantic Coast Recycling in Passaic serves more than 60 New Jersey municipalities. The center goes through 500 tons of recycling a day. But manager Fred Petrone says that 10 to 25 percent of that material is now going to landfills because China has stopped importing trash.

"They would buy it. They would take all of the good material out because of the low cost of labor, and the rest they would just dump somewhere,” he says.

Since the trash import ban, companies have been bringing the waste to landfills themselves.

Petrone says that people often try to recycle things that can’t be recycled.

“We got a sword one day. It was like a bayonet. It was 3 feet long,” he says.

People have also tried to recycle syringes, helmets, rusty tools and small propane containers.

“If there’s any propane in this, it could explode and blow the place up,” Petrone says.

The manager says that the worst thing people try to recycle are plastic bags. Petrone says that numbers 1, 2 and 5 plastics can be recycled. Plastic bags clog up the machinery and they have to be handpicked out.

Mixed materials: something with a little metal, a little plastic, also needs to be thrown out. The more time crews spend separating recyclables from trash and the more times they go to the landfill, it will start costing taxpayers.

"We eventually have to pass down [the costs] to the municipalities, which is going to hit the residents, and I don't think anyone wants to pay more on their tax bill,” Petrone says.

He says that most towns’ websites have information about what is and is not recyclable.

"It will help us a tremendous amount if people get the contaminants out of that material,” he says.

Residents may also take plastic bags back to the supermarket, which will then recycle them the proper way.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Just Married in New Jersey

    Just Married in New Jersey

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:18:06 GMT
    Send us your Fall Fun Pics!Send us your Fall Fun Pics!

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

  • Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.
    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."